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Copyright, 1921, by 

Printed in U. S. A. 


French Ballads — 1897 

The Eound 3 


The Maiden Dead in the Ecstacy of Love 4 

The Skies Are Gay, 'Tis Merry May 5 

A Queen in the Sea 5 

The Whales 7 

The Complaint of the Soldiers 7 

My Joy Has Fallen in the Grass 8 

I Have Small, Blue Flovvters 8 

The Devil in the Night 9 

Life 9 

The Sw^eetest Song 9 

From Ballads of the Storm 

Cradle Song for the Dying 10 

From Ballads of the Night 

The Lament of the King and Queen 11 

The Kesponses of Dawn and Night 12 

From My Legends 

Orpheus Charming the Animals 12 

From A Portfolio of Sketches 

The Little Annuitant 16 

The Visit of Death 16 

The Two Clowns 17 

Mountain — 1898 

Images of My Dreams Ig 

In the Wood 19 

Evening Clouds 19 

Hymn to the Sea 20 

Hymn to the Author of These Hymns 21 

The Story of Louis XI— 1898 

The Story of Louis XI 21 

The Entrance into Rouen of Charles the Bold 26 




JOACfflM 27 

The Piteous Battle OF Mont-L'H£rt 28 

Sounds of Bells and of Precious Stones 32 

The IVIiRACULous Catch 32 

The Heroic Resistance of the City of Beauvais 35 

Let Pass My Sweet Little Louis XI 39 

Antique Idylls and Hymns — 1900 

The Cup of IMenalchus 42 

Morpheus 44 

Icarus 45 

The Voyage of Jason 47 

Sailor's Love — 1900 

The Cord 52 

A Song of Fate 52 

You Can Depart 53 

The Kisses 53 

Song of the Sunburned Sailors 54 

The One-Eyed Cat 54 

The Cur6 of Langrune-Sur-IMer 54 

The Snuff-Taker 55 

Song at Dawn 56 

Paris Sentimental — 1902 

The Meeting 57 

First Appointment 58 

On the Pont Au Change 60 

Bullier 62 

From The Bohemia op the Heart and Penny Romances 

My Portrait 65 

Meudon 65 

The Great Drunkenness 66 

Hymns of Flame — 1903 

The Dolphin 67 

From LuciENNE 71 

Coxcomb— 1906 

Coxcomb (Fragment: First Pages) 73 

From The Book of Visions 

The Sadness of Pan 78 

Philomel 80 

The Return 81 

The Little Lights 82 


Eternity 82 

Henri III 83 

Ile-de-France — 1908 
From Coucy-le-Chateau 

The Arrival at Coucy-Le-Chateau 90 

From Senlis 

Senlis — Early Morning 92 

The Little Silent Street 93 

From Margot, My Page 

Moonlight 93 

The Hunter 94 

Mortcerf — 1909 

The Beautiful Names 95 

The Forest of Cr^cy 96 

Sale of the "Coin Musard" 97 

From Nemours 

Horizons 100 

Fro7n Velizy 

The Mystic Hour 101 

From Ballads and Cantilenas 

Ophelia 101 

The Queen and the Kino 101 

Hamlet 102 

King Claudius 102 

fortinbras 103 

Lament of the Little White Horse 104 

The Sadness of Man — 1910 

Through Melancholy 104 

The Terror 105 

Shade of the "Woods 107 

The Happy Man 107 

F7-om Repose op the Soul in the "Wood of L 'Hautil 

Dream of the First Day 108 

The Marriage of the Oise and the Seine 109 

Ode to Pissefontaine 110 

The God of Sunny Days Ill 

Prayer to Conjure Away the Rain Ill 

The Abandoned Chapel 112 

Frotn Note Book of Romances and Laments 

The Italian 113 


Lament of the Ruined Chateaux in Winter 113 

The Eternal Adventure — 1911 

The Eternal Adventure. Book I (First Pages) 115 

From In Gatinais 

Dedication to the Land 123 

Repose at Noon 124 

Living as a God — 1912 

Matinal Survey of the City 126 

The Seven Houses of Jean Racine 129 

Nocturnal Crime at the Chateau 132 

The Vigil of the Poet 133 

Cantilena and Cry of Adieu on the Hill of the Manor . . . 133 

The Memory 135 

The Eternal Adventure. Book III (First Pages) .... 136 
Songs to Console Me for Being Happy — 1913 

Richard Cceur-de-Lion 138 

From In Andelys 

Prayer to the Great Norman Water-Sprites 142 

On the Bank of the Seine 143 

Prose — To the Most Beautiful Light 144 

Have I Leisure to Devote Myself to Poesy? 145 

Long Live the Skies of Normandy 146 

From Laments and Sayings 

Chime at Dawn 147 

If Peau D'Ane Were Told to Me— 1916 

Saint Hubert of Gambaiseuil 147 

Two Cottages in the Land of the Yveline — 1916 

The Daughters of the King of Spain — A French Song . . . 154 

The Journey 156 

The Little Calves of Les Haizettes 157 

Our Cottage in Yveline 157 

The Azure Frog 158 

The Poacher's Time-Piece 159 

A Sorcerer Before My House 159 

Song of the Evening 161 

The Axe 161 

The Adieu to Haizettes 162 

The New Cottage 163 

The Thrill of the Forest 165 

First Day of War 166 


Poems of France — 1914-1915 

The Cathedral of Kheims 167 

The Traitor 171 

The Marseillaise 173 

In Time of War— 1917 

That Is Why Our Sons Are Heroes 176 

In the Land of the Windmills — 1921 

Forgotten 179 

The translator thanks the editors of Poetry, 
Broom, and The Cygnet for permission to re- 
print certain of the poems in this book. 


Paul Fort has likened himself to Shelley. His lyrical gift is so pure 
and strong that the comparison seems neither arrogant nor absurd. 
But his difference from Shelley is more important than any kinship: 
he is at home not only in the world but in the universe. No essential 
conflicts rend the harmony or darken the lucidity of his soul. Nor has 
he had to win this peace. It has always been his ; he has always known 
it, as he declares all things must be known — by heart. 

To Paul Fort life and the world are a beautiful and eternal pageant 
of rivers and stars and fields, of people and of things made with hands. 
And the passions that have moved this pageant are, to his vision, an 
integral part of it, but one that he perceives pictorially and in which 
he sees pictorial and poetic values wherewith to feed his unending in- 
terest in gesture and color and form. He is not oblivious of pain nor 
of ugliness. But he has let all things flow through his refashioning 
soul and found them good. 

He is the blithest and most limpid of poets. Yet he constantly escapes 
the danger of shallowness by virtue of a pagan earnestness at the root 
of his delight, a harmony with the great procession of appearances, a 
deep and instinctive union with the sun's warmth, the star's glitter, 
the flight of birds, the tread of wayfarers, the splendor of antique 
raiment. **A11 nature," he says, **is on the threshold of my heart." 
"The earth and the sun are but one fatherland." "I would caress 
nature with my fingers as though she were an instrument that answers 
to my dream." This is perhaps, as I started by saying, the central 
point of Paul Fort's creative psychology: the universe answers his 
dream. Joy is his chief note. If ever he loses joy he is astonished as 
a child might be astonished or a faun. His habitual mood is one of a 
glad, swift swimmer whose strong limbs flash through the seas and 
rivers of the world. "Quickly the goal I'd reach, softly descend the 
breeze. My laughter I would teach to the Eumenides." He is indeed 
"the gay sprite of cosmic fire no curb restrains." 

Fort's untroubled acceptance of all things as beautiful and inter- 



esting in their own nature has made him one of the most copious and 
one of the most realistic of modern poets. He has rightly called his 
poems ballads. He is a ballad singer, a minstrel of the universe. He 
wanders the roads of the world. He sees a landscape, a vivid gesture: 
an historical incident floats into his mind. He indites a ballad. Since 
he loves all things, he makes no false distinctions between noble and 
ignoble. A sailor's sweethearting is as fine a subject as the subtle 
machinations of a great king. And he treats all these subjects, even 
the most intricate ones, with something of the ballad singer's straight 
simplicity of development in action and with a constant heightening 
and deepening of the spiritual overtones which the old minstrels had. 
For this purpose he revives the refrain and uses parallelism and the 
haunting laconic implications of speech of the old folk-songs. 

This brings me to the much debated question of his metrical inno- 
vations which are not so startling as many have supposed. By print- 
ing his verse in the typographical manner of prose he has marked 
several devices. He has carried enjambement to its last necessary con- 
clusion. He has liberated the rhythmic unit from any coincidence with 
the syntactical one. Furthermore, he hears staves rather than lines 
and has often, though not as often as has been asserted, broken with the 
line regularity of the French tradition and has allied himself, uncon- 
sciously perhaps, to the Germanic variation of melodic structure. This 
appears most clearly so soon as we print a stanza in the ordinary manner : 

I am happy ! I alone 
This gift from Fate could wring 
Because my lyre has known 
How to sing everything. 

Thus his form combines new elements with very ancient ones and lends 
itself with exquisite appropriateness to that spirit of balladist and folk- 
singer which he has brought to the poetry of modern France. The imi- 
tations of his method by the ultra-sophisticated, the makers of glittering 
images, do him wrong. His deepest note, his most enduring accent, is 
found in such lyrics as (vide infra) "The Complaint of the Soldiers" or 
"The Kisses," in which simple and old and recurrent things are treated 
with healthy realism, passionate brevity, and that unquestioning accept- 
ance of man's lot which is always and everywhere the possession of the 
folk and its singers. 
To translate a poet who is, from one point of view, so original and 


daring and from another so simple and naive is a formidable task. It is 
easy to succeed with a few pieces ; it is difficult to succeed even tolerably 
when many are attempted. Mr. Newberry's verisions are many and I 
think that very nearly all of them are extraordinarily beautiful and faith- 
ful at once. A number of them are not below the originals in grace and 
significance ; all are notably interesting for both their workmanship and 
their poetic feeling. Hence this volume not only introduces to American 
readers one of the most eminent and attractive of French poets but forms 
an admirable addition to our own rather small store of first rate poetical 
scholarship and skill. 

LuDWiQ Lewisohn. 


Paul Fort is a phenomenon of nature. He should be recommended 
as one would recommend a bird, a spider, a tree, or a strip of larkspur 
up a mountainside, in the matter of human companionship. 

For those who love and enjoy the poetry of Paul Fort to explain 
why they do so is to tell why they love and enjoy the thing which they 
choose to call poetry or art. 

It might be easy to say what America needs more than anything 
else is a something made up of the stuffs and fluids that constitute the 
phenomenon of nature known as Paul Fort. It might be easy to say 
that and yet, easy as the saying of it would be, it might be a porten- 
tous truth that would dawn the keener as the writings of Paul Fort 
were read. 

The poetry of North America nearest like that of Paul Fort is to be 
found in songs and legends of the Red Indian. The early copper- 
faces would have said they understood the phantoms and intangibles 
that march, fly and turn somersaults in the lines of our Frenchman. 

I am thankful personally, and I am glad for the sake of many young 
men and women I know, that John Strong Newberry has done a work 
of translation that will bring closer home the art of a gay, deep-sing- 
ing Frenchman. 

Carl Sandburg. 








Should all the girls of the world be fain to join their hands and form 
a chain, the round would reach along the beach and girdle all the 

Should all the lads of the world agree that they would jolly sailors 
be, the boats they'd man would form a span that stretched across the 

Then 'twould be found that one could dance the world around, ah, 
happy chance ! should all folk of the world be fain to join their hands 
and form a chain. 


Ah, day of joy! The sound of pipe and flute with sweetly blending 
tone doth charm the sense, and young and old approach with eager foot, 
lured by the call of sweet-voiced instruments. 

Gay, gay, let us be wed, coifs and ribbons and bridal bell. Gay, gay, 
let us be wed, and this happy couple as well. 

Fair blossoms fill the church from side to side. Bells great and small 
chime out the wedding tune, — three hundred small bells for the eyes of 
the bride, a clanging tocsin for the heart of the groom. 



Gay, gay, let us be wed, coifs and ribbons and bridal bell. Gay, gay, 
let us be wed, and this happy couple as well. 

The pealing chime has silenced every tongue. Ah, sorrow, when it 
rings for us no more! Weep o'er your prayer-books, ye that are not 
young. Soon it will toll to say your life is o'er. 

Gay, gay, let us be wed, coifs and ribbons and bridal veil. Gay, gay, 
let us be wed, and this happy couple as well. 

Now it is done and the church bells abate. Dance to the pair with 
passion's over plus. Cheer for the lad and the lass and the fete! Ah, 
we are glad when it is not for us ! 

Gay, gay, let us be wed, coifs and ribbons and bridal bell. Gay, gay, 
let us l3e wed, and this happy couple as well. 

Ah, day of joy! "With sound of pipe and flute old age awhile forgets 
its impotence. Dance, boys and girls ! The world is 'neath your foot I 
0, the delight of sweet-voiced instruments! 

This maiden she is dead, is dead, while love was fresh and new. 
They laid her in the earth, the earth, before the night was through. 
They bedded her alone, alone, wrapped in a bride's array. 
They bedded her alone, alone, low-coffined in the clay. 
They left her merrily, merrily, when dawn made bright the way. 
A-singing merrily, merrily. "Each in his turn," sang they. 
"This maiden she is dead, is dead, while love was fresh and new." 
They went to till the fields, the fields, as every day they do. . . . 



Beyond the hedge the sea doth glint. Never shell shone so well. One 
longs to go a-fishing in 't. The skies are gay, 'tis merry May. 

Sweet is the sea beyond the hedge, soft and bland as baby's hand. 
One longs to kiss its crinkled edge. The skies are gay, 'tis merry May. 

'Tis with the breeze's fingers clever, all ashine with needles fine, that 
hedge and sea are sewn together. The skies are gay, 'tis merry May. 

Upon the hedge the waves display their fluttering bits of foamy spray. 
White sails are flashing o'er the bay. The skies are gay, 'tis merry May. 

The hedge, it is an ocean deep where golden scarab beetles sleep. 
Black whales are ungainlier far. The skies are gay, 'tis merry May. 

Soft as a tear upon the cheek the sea's a tear upon the hedge that 
softly seeks the water's edge. But one has no desire to weep. 

* ' A lad has fallen in the wave, " " Dead in the sea ! A goodly grave ! ' * 
One cannot weep his fate to-day. The skies are gay, 'tis merry May. 


With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

A queen of high descent once loved a sailor rude.. To India he went 
with greed of gain imbued. 

With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

With tall, black ships a King conquered the Queen's countree! Ah, 
bitter was the sting! She leaped into the sea. 

With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

"Queen in the sea!" A whale in search of cod or mullet wagged a 
contented tail and stowed her in his gullet. 


With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

In that black ventral part a sorry time she had, but still, with faith- 
ful heart, she loved her sailor lad. 

With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

So that good whale, the most considerate of mammals, swam to the 
Indian coast, a land where there are camels. 

With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

One of these beasts above, throned in a palanquin, she recognized her" 
love, now monarch of Tonkin. 

With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

"Sailor, console your queen. Come back my throne to share." "Not 
I ! In my hareem are many maids more fair.'* 

With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

"You smell of the sepulchre." "A whale devoured me. Sailor, 'tis 
not of the sepulchre I smell, but of the sea." 

With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

"Each houri of my string of fine rice-powder smells, like the Queen 
to the King that they say in Paris dwells." 

With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

Then weeping she returned into the waiting whale and for her native 
land sorrowfully set sail. 

With our good boats brave the tempestuous flood. 

With tall, black ships a King conquered the Queen's countree. Her 
pain has lost its sting and like a lamb is she. 

With our good boats brave the tempestuous sea. 



In the days when still one went to look for whales, cruising so far, 
sailor, it made our sweethearts weep, there was on every road a Christ 
upon the cross, there were marquises covered with lace, there was the 
Holy Virgin and there was the King. 

In the days when still one went to look for whales, cruising so far, 
sailor, it made our sweethearts weep, there were mariners who kept 
the faith, and mighty lords who spat upon it, there was the Holy Virgin 
and there was the King. 

Well, nowadays, the whole world is content, 'tis no mere empty phrase, 
sailor, in truth one is content ! . . . There are no more mighty lords nor 
Christs upon the cross, but there is the republic and there is the presi- 
dent, and there are no more whales. 


When they were come back from the wars their heads were seamed 
with bleeding scars, 

their hearts betwixt clenched teeth they gripped, in rivulets their 
blood had dripped, 

when they were come back from the wars, the blue, the red, the sons 
of Mars, 

they sought their snuff-boxes so fine, their chests, their sheets all spof- 
less showing, 

they sought their Mne, their grunting swine, their wives and swee^ 
hearts at their sewing, 

their roguish children, like as not crowned with a shining copper 

they even sought their homes, poor souls . . . they only found the 
worms and moles. 

The carrion raven clamored o'er them. — They spat their broken hearta 
before theml 


My joy has fallen in the grass, good people of the plain, fortunate 
folk, bring all your lanterns, help me to find it again. 

My sweetheart went away with a great white cavalier. I followed, 
heavy-hearted. I followed far in the plain. My arrow found its mark. 
And my sweetheart fell from her great black steed in the plain, and 
when the night grew dark the cavalier departed. 

Bring all your lanterns, good people of the plain, fortunate folk, my 
joy has fallen in the grass, help me to find it again. 

"It was not she you should have slain of the two, 'twas the great 
white cavalier. You would have found your Joy again still alive and 
for love still fain. Perhaps she would have pardoned you." "I did 
not dare to shoot at him, that great cavalier in his pride, he had an air 
too menacing with his sabre by his side. ' ' 

My joy has fallen in the grass, good people of the plain, fortunate 
folk, bring all your lanterns, help me to find it again. 

If it was she that you saw indeed, your joy, you can make a cross 
above. Though your search for a hundred years should last you will 
only find the earth and the grass, or the snow beneath the wintry blast, 
twinkling glow-worms the turf may cover, but never will you find your 

Bring all your lanterns, good people of the plain, fortunate folk, 
my joy has fallen in the grass, help me to find it again. 


I have small, blue flowers, I have small, blue flowers, clearer than 
your eyes. — Then on your love bestow one! — They are mine, they 
belong to no one. High on the mountain's crest, my love, high on the 
mountain's crest. 


I have carbuncles, I have carbuncles, more vivid than your mouth. — 
Then on your love bestow one! — They are mine, they belong to no one. 
Under the ashes at home, my love, under the ashes at home. 

I have found a heart, I have found two hearts, I have found a thou- 
sand hearts. — Show them to me! — I have found love, it belongs to all 
the world. Everywhere on the road, my love, everywhere on the road. 


"With ruby eyes a-peer the devil, all night long, stalks squeaking mice 
to spear upon his little prong. 

A million mice so fat he bags ere dawn is pale. They sizzle in a vat, 
stirred by his red-hot tail. 

He gives the broth thereof to lovers impolite, who, fondling day and 
night, publish abroad their love. 

"When they their hearts disgorge into the vat, until it's o'er-brimming, 
in his forge he shapes them into skillets. 

Skillets that he employs, tied to his greenish tail, to make a noise, 
a noise, all night long in the gale. 

With the first chime they said " 'Tis Christ in manger laid, ..." 

The bells ring out full tide: **0 happiness! My bride!" 

Then soon the great bells toll for a departed soul. 


I would sing no louder than the shepherd's pipe, nor than the croon 
my osier cradle weaves, less loud than the lark, no louder than the ripe 
barley that sways, beneath the belfry's height, at dawn's immaculate 
threshold rustling sheaves — no louder than the rain upon the leaves. . . . 

I long for song more soft than murmuring loaves, daintier than 
the brook through osiers singing, remoter than the soaring lark that 
cleaves the skies of June, unfathomed azure winging, more fugitive than 


at dawn the belPs faint ringing, or tlie hid sweet note that in my oboe 

But, oh ! the song of love ... 0, to recapture the pensive, nonchalant, 
caressing air with which the Virgin mild, to wide-eyed rapture, beguiled 
the lovely Christchild heavenly-fair, the tune that Joseph whistled, 
debonair, above his joiner's bench one holy morn when, to its lilt, the 
Dream of the Babe was born. 

frailest sounds! song's supreme delight that Jesus breathed 
to the skies of Bethlehem, or that the Syrians murmur in the night, 
waking their citharas, while over them, with slender shafts to the wist- 
ful cadence bent, their hearkening fountains form a firmament. 



Do not believe in death. See how the sunlight streams through space 
to gladden your sad face. Let no vain tears be shed. Clear as your 
soul are the skies. Through dark oblivion strikes a sudden beam — and 
death is all agleam. 

Do not believe in death. The birds are freed from the cages of the 
dark and silent wood where they so long were pent. Let no vain tears 
be shed, like your soul the skies are singing. No longer are they mute. 
And death is radiant! 

Death stands before you luminous and singing, and it is life ! In the 
calm an angel dislodges the pearl of your soul amid the musical, radiant 
voices of archangels. 

They sing unheeded by this careless world that has forgot the splen- 
dour of man's celestial home in skies afar. But faithful death has 
come. And the stars are singing in the skies towards that remembered 

And lo ! the luminous end ! Pure as your soul are the sides. Do not 
believe in death. All tranquil is your face. Your soul is fresh as 
morning's first embrace. Young as your soul are the skies. 


And death is o'er and life at last shines clear, unrecognized before. 
On every side bright souls appear, forever luminous, purged from muddy 
sins, filling with splendour all the void of space. The other life was 
but a tempest's roar. Pure is your face — and happy life begins. 



All in the woodland green, sombrely dight, wandered a king and 
queen at the fall of night. 

She has the chain, and he bears the lamb of gold — ''Take back the 
chain," said she, "All our love is cold." 

"You loved me, queen. Can I cancel love's pain? Then take this 
lamb of gold, arid the chain retain." 

"Let us be still, be still, where moonlight blanches. Farewell requites 
farewell 'neath sighing branches." 

One shade to the chateau, lonely, returns. One shade, with gold 
aglow, flees through the ferns. 

What, that has not been said, what shall I say of loves so quickly 
dead 'mid nights of May? 

Say that the heaven's seem ne'er to agree with life's eternal dream, 
love's fantasy? 

O 'er the dead loves we mourn gold skies are bending. Splendid criter- 
ion of loves unending ! 

Love, 'tis a chilling rain falls on us soon. Suffer, above our pain bright' 
shines the moon. 

Here the lament dies, dies of melancholy. — "A king and queen once 
loved, loved with tender folly. ' ' 

Ah, passion's brittlenessi Weary refrain! — "Alas, the littleness of 
our loves mundane. . . . ' * 



— Do you hear the stars that tremble in the sky 1 

— Do you hear my heart each moment grow more pale? 

— Do you hear Dawn lift her rustling veils on high? 

— Listen, a heart assumes the ultimate veil. 

— Like a rich trophy the great sun mounts the sky. 

— Of too much ^'ictory my heart is dying. 

— Do you hear the weeping of the fountains? 

— Do you hear the fairies' sighing breath? 

— I hear the sobbing of the fountains . . . 

— ^The ivory horn of death. 



'Neath dawn's caress a silvery mountain shone. 

And this was, on every hand, like a full surgeless sea whose ebb un- 
veils the gleam of some far-sunken hoard, when penetrating dawn tanned 
with its pallid beam the sward of dewy glades deep in the sleeping wood. 

On the silvered mountain at daybreak, Orpheus sang. 

And this was, on every hand, beneath the murmurous leaves the 
wakened forest merged in one concerted theme by many voices urged, 
harsh from the trail's dark edge, clear from the crests and the sedge 
of many a woodland stream. 

The lion's voice towards the lyre of Orpheus rose. 

It was he who came, at da^vn suddenly to appear! Growling, 'twas he 
who came. . . . And the singer was erect before the flaming dawn, erect 
before the ravening beast of prey, clasping the glittering lyre between 
his hands, comely and free from fear. 

Flattened against the rocks, the lion listened. 


The mingled voices of the man and lyre, cadenced the mounting hour, 
rhythmed the skies on fire. The lion came with humble tongue to lick 
the sandaled feet sublime of him whose soaring song, farflung, seemed 
like the golden voice of Time. 

All came to hear that voice and all were charmed. 

The tiger stretched himself, long as a tenuous shrub, and savored 
those sweet sounds as shrub soft breezes cool. The ourang-outang, be- 
mused, his brow upon his club, unchecked from nose and throat dis- 
charged a silver drool. 

Great numbers of them came and all were charmed. 

Like a crumbling crag, with shambling shock that cadenced broad 
hill-sides, the great bear danced. On a dawn-red rock's outstanding jag, 
like a lyre that is clasped in the hand of a man, like a lyre that is strung 
with sable cords, a youthful zebra reared and pranced. 

They came in multitudes and all were charmed. 

The elephant, all eai-s, allowed the morning breeze to swell his mas- 
sive sail. He went as in a dream, and softly as a ship upon a sleeping 
stream. — The peacock vnth. the notes unfurled or reefed his tail. 

The proud beasts came, the timid beasts as well. 

Half -fainting, the gazelle seemed lost to sight and sound, yet from 
her liquid eyes most happy tear-drops fell imaging forth her dream 
'mid music's spell profound, the lovely, tender, mild and amorous 

They came from jungles far, from forests near at hand, from the 
plateau's rich grass and from Sahara's sand. 

Buffalo, aurochs, ram, and fabled unicorn pressed in their zest for 
song huge horn against huge horn. The gilded marmoset whose thirst 
an orange staunches, the rhythmic strain rehearsed with gently sway- 
ing haunches. 


They came from the Orient, they came from the Occident. They came 
from everjrwhere — they even came from heaven. 

Chaplets of blissful doves on eagles' necks aswoon, bright zones of 
lustrous bees with dark drones overlaid, the swallows' twittering caval- 
cade, that transcendent tune had heard. And that nightmare with great 
eyes astare, the prowling owl, had left his lair to follow the irridescent 
flight of an unreal humming bird. 

The humus and the sand had their ambassadors. 

The spider and the crab, wise as Confucius, with little vitreous eyea 
their rival virtues scanned. Locked in a close embrace two boas made 
in space (a sunbeam being at hand) a giant caduceus. 

The stout beasts came, likewise the slender ones. 

the air of the fair giraffe, that gracious, glorious air! Eapt, with 
veiled eyes it listened, gazing on high where glistened dawn's earliest 
blush that flushed a fleecy cloud. It made the penguin swear, one foot 
in air, that ne 'er in all his life had he seen a mien so sweetly proud. 

Showers of rosy spurge watered the velvet wind. 

The beauty of the slug in scarlet freshness showed, the shivering 
lizard shed an opalescent gleam, in the bright morning light a frog be- 
side them glowed and with this triple beam a rock was diamonded. 

Through the blue air they came, they came from out the stones. 

In the pure firmament music had mobilized the flies, afar the wasp '8 
shrill trump hurled forth its resonant blast. And over all the world 
a gentle murmur passed as though the Day of Wrath were done in 

They came from everywhere — from the bowels of the deep. 

The whale himself had come. His Majesty the Whale, from the Medi- 
terranean, his bulk borne like a bale by a bank of herrings, piscatory 
ocean freighters, that frisk before a horde of glutton alligators. 


They were resuscitated from depths of legend. 

The Roc its black wings spread from the gold egg of the sun, dusking 
blue depths of air with slow-expanding pinions. And, risen from Hell's 
dominions, one saw, a portent dread, in the lurid Pit's red glare the 
ghost of Leviathan. 

They came from Stygian gulfs, they came from shining stars, from 
everywhere, from lairs unknown to even the gods. 

But the lion suddenly growled and Orpheus ceased his song. They" 
had seen in the shadowy path that crossed a sylvan dale, a shepherd 
with his flock, his shepherd-do^, his hoi'se. Songs that bewitched the 
brutes for these were void of force. No sounds divine availed with ears 
by commerce dulled. 

Orpheus dropped his lyre — and the lyre wept. 

But straightway one perceived the land's whole wealth of bloom, 
slower to yield itself to the singer's magic strains, surge o'er the plains, 
ascend, and, where the bare crests loom, spread 'neath the dawn's first 
glows its fresh, eternal snows. 

All lyreless, Orpheus sang the beauty of the flowers, and the enrap- 
tured blooms, enthralled by that sweet song, forsook their parent bough, 
vibrating butterflies, soon to recrystallise, bright stars about his brow. 

Orpheus grasped his lyre again, and the gray rocks wept at his glad 
refrain, jetting the fountains of their joys to greet the accents of his 

Then, prodigy divine, one saw the horizon dim sway vnth the music's 
spell its floating, misty hem, with each melodious swell uncovering its 
mountains and when the silence fell again re-covering them. 

Orpheus sang this day, he sang the sun! And the heavens listened, 
all their clouds in leash. And the charmed lightning slept beneath its 

But violently the night on Orpheus having closed, the trees, the birds, 
the mists revealed, with headlong pace and oscillating flight, unwontedly 


imposed, that drunk with song the world more swiftly whirled through 



He has departed by the road, the poor man, summoning up such 
fortitude as old men can, with little faltering steps counted by trembling 
cane, he has departed. He will not come again. 

His constitutional covers no great distance, the dear man. Conserva- 
tive for eighteen hundred years, none has he wronged, no enemy he 
fears. He has always led so prudent an existence since Time began. 

Two rods of road and then a path we trace, a tiny little path, to re- 
conduct the man, the worthy little man, back to his starting place. And 
why should Fate select as victim of its spleen that honest little man in 
his little by-path green? 

He trudges there, he coughs, he spits, he gnaws, he mumbles to him- 
self, he blinks applause, content with all. He roasts his doddering heart 
in the bright sun's warm beam. He dreams his way through life. He 
takes no part in strife, and he is happy in his dream. 

Yes, why should evil Fate have grudged felicity to that good man 
and wished to do him wrong, when nothing came his peace to mar save 
that he sometimes trudged too far? Of course there's death the icy 
breath that solveth all our sums. Ah, death, the broad highway, there 
one marches long. But bah, is there not this good abbe to graft you on 
a good little path — this excellent little abbe who so opportunely comes? 


A small, pale hand brushes against the lock, lengthens, and with one 
finger upsets my sleeping-draught. 

Discreetly a light foot tiptoes by. 

I call. 

But there is no reply. 


Can it be that it is snowing in my warm room! 

Disdainfully Death sits beside my fire, he waits my honr, his tower 
of little bones, ranged on my chair, gleams in the embers glare like a 
plant of strawberries. On his knees a living toy he dances that twinkles 
and blinks and gives soft glances. 

Tinkle of bells. ... Is this delirium? Are the horses there t Has 
the hour for departure come? 

No, 'tis Death that rises. The slim tower rocks. It is white and rose 
like a minaret. No, Death stands, all his joints he cracks, he stoops on 
a moon-stone his toy to whet. — Good, he touches my shoulder, calm and 

"My son, are you ready?" 

Inadvertently, a little random blow of that glistening plaything sets 
my spirit free, and I can feel it go, in rhythmic ecstacy, to wash its linen 
in the light of the moon. 


— Synthetic Clown-Clown, hip, hip, whirl! 

— Six pirouettes blue white, white blue, it is the Sky! six pirouettes 
blue green, green blue, it is the Sea! six pirouettes green yellow, yel- 
low green, it is the Desert! six pirouettes gold yellow, yellow gold, it is 
the Sun! 

— ^Bravo, bravo, a little bravo, gentlemen. Analytic Clown-Clown, 'tis 
your turn. Whirl! 

— So be it, gentlemen, let us resolve things into their elements. Follow 
me well: Violet, two pirouettes, Indigo, three pirouettes. Blue, five 
pirouettes. Green, two pirouettes, Yellow, three pirouettes, Orange, five 
pirouettes, Red, ten pirouettes. Total: thirty pirouettes. Attention, 


gentlemen. Have a look at Noah's rainbow. . . . Two three five, two 
three five ten, rrrrrrran ! 

— Stop, Analytic, stop, enough I say! He is going to burst. . . . Good 
God! ... Ah! 

Synthetic writhes and then, in the tan-bark of the ring, writes with a 
thumb profound this sombre epitaph : 

Here lies 


this clown reputed sage 

— quite insane 

and dead of rage 

that he could not whirl a hurricane. 





The wooded hill o'ershades the river's placid brim and in its tranquil 
depths still further slopes one sees. The dusky half reflects a forest, 
green and dim, its azure counterpart, the clouds' profundities. 

Here sails the little skiff of cloudy pearl, and there, not far removed, 
a raft of branches slowly rides. . . . Sudden beneath my eyes the surges 
of a weir whelm sail and raft. Dull mist the troubled mirror hides. 

Images of my dreams, is this your shipwreck drear, raft, wandering 
sail, to find your harbor in the wave, black vision, vision blue, broken 
upon the weir, by foaming billows drowned and mingled in the grave? 

The wooded-hill o'ershades the river's placid brim. On the other 
bank gold buttercups sway. In the stormy sky cold lightning-flashes 
pierce the gathering cloud-wrack grim. . . . And still more images will 
come, alas, to diet 


A brooklet flows beneath the vaulted wood. 

Between the mosses emerald pale, lianas frail pursue its song, others 
enshroud its bed with shadows moist and blue ; a dead birch huddles on 
its bank; the scarab beetles o'er it skim. Fallen birch leaves, tinged 
with red, choke that channel dank and dim. Among the mosses a vnld 
and lonely thought fixes my dream with its minute regard. . . . 

Why, my God, should things that are so small (a brooklet flows 
beneath the vaulted wood) wuth their little life of moving shadow call 
this horrible despair to dusk my mood? — Is it because of this monoto- 
nous song of a current almost stifled in its bed, or of these things that 
seem a phantom throng, their sleep with endless sorrow overspread, 
is it because of life that is so brief, thinking how strait and narrow is 
our world, that I should see no cause for death's reprieve, nor any rea- 
son why mankind was born, save that beyond the border of the wood, 
like some clear beacon-fire by Nature set, like a summons of this world 
to light and joy, there shines the vivid green of growing corn? 

A brooklet flows beneath the vaulted wood. 


The hour has made transparent mountains of ruddy cloud. Upon 
the fruitful plain there is no fairer hour. Dissohnng topaz clouds let 
fall a golden shower. The evening wind, pursues, and guides them home 

The setting sun strikes in their flight bright birds, all the birds of 
the day, and 'tis an ardent and a golden rain glancing across the surge 
of gently swaying grain. 

The setting sun and the wind have fused their charms divine, in twi- 
light's crucible colour and scent combine. 

Far from the dying sun, through depths of stainless air, an Oriental 
pageant glides. Long, bleeding rubies deck an emperor beneath the 


balancing of tall, gold parasols. Behind, a mighty people, clothed all in 
violet pale, sway at the tips of slender golden wands lanterns whereon 
are limned, in characters of silver, the poppies of sleep. 

Have you seen the talons of the Night go past? In the wind she also 
was of gold. . . . And already the birds are sleeping on the plain, the 
ruddy heads of the grain are bowed in slumber, and the broad moon 


Great Sea, too much have fools impugned your empire's might, boast- 
ing your random powers in mutual combat fight! Great Sea, whose 
flashing fire and roaring bolts are hurled when you would fain reflect 
the turmoil of the world ! 

Ah, do your thoughts recall of storied Greece or Rome the fleets en- 
gulfed like lead to rest beneath your foam? Before and since that day 
where sail man's swift triremes? The Argo, Spanish galleons, gone like 
forgotten dreams, 

the shattered galleys, bent above your mirror's gloom, which, with 
uplifted prow, were sucked beneath your flood? The ships submerged, 
once more your mirrors, filled with blood, united, of great names the all- 
effacing tomb. 

Can nothing mortal. Sea, afford the life you crave and calm the thirst 
for heaven of your drunk mirrors vast? Is it the Other World you most 
reflect at last to appease the bounding glass of your insatiate wave? 

'Tis at the heaven's high verge that tempests tire and cease, upreared 
like soaring Hope in the trembling azure air. 'Tis when, at the planet's 
call, towards the white clouds you fare that, in reflecting them, you 
dream of love and peace. 

In freshets of the Spring, flood your confining bars, and through pale 
wastes of space mount frenziedly on high to where the sea of Chaos, 
on far shores of the sky, deposits evermore the infinite salt of stars. 



O'er realms of song an uncrowned King all things beneath the snn I 
sing. I have sung the seasons, the hills, the sea, my joyous moods, my 
cloudy woes. I have sung the calm serenity that from the forest flows. 
Since life began all things I've proved, all things have suffered, all 
things loved. 'er realms of song an uncrowned King all things beneath 
the sun I sing. 

Ah, I have sung in admirable phrase when I could raise in air, free, 
my two hands to the sun. My voice has read the glorious symbols drawn 
in an unknown and mystic book of prayer. From my lips and from 
my heart imperious, soaring echoes start from the hid and secret ways. 
Ah, I have sung in admirable phrase when I could raise in air, free, my 
two hands to the sun. 

All I have hymned, I have sung the golden sun, ogive of brightness 
set in the infinite of the skies, the winged dawn with shimmering rays 
that flit from hedge to hedge, aurora, one great rose above the glim- 
mering wood, the noon's red glows that tint the air with glints of 
ripened fruit, and the silver moon that rocks the dream of night. All 
things composed my song. I have sung the light. In the harmony of 
eve I have sung the infinite. 

But what I sang with faith most free from base alloy, what I have 
understood with the profoundest joy, is your deep calm, your solitary 
heart, enchanted wood! It is your shade, your shade, your shade, 
dreaming wood! . . . 



Extracts from Book I. 

Louis XI, Curious Man. 


In tlie room of the ivriter. Tlie writer exclaims thus: 

Louis XI, for trifles fain, I love you, curious man. Dear chafferer in 
chestnuts, astutely did you plan to pluck the chestnuts of fair Bur- 


gundy! You seemed all friendliness and courtesy. Your hood was 
hung with images of lead and copper medals. Watchers would have 
said your pious thoughts were fixed on things above. Sudden you 
stooped, your long arms outward drove. Gently, not even ruffling your 
sleek glove, you filched a chestnut, another, half a dozen, beneath the 
menacing gauntlet of your cousin. 

But if by chance he let his great fists fall upon your back, your 
scrawny back, you roared with laughter and his stolen goods restored. 
'Twas but an empty shell. Void were the chestnuts all. Your gentle 
industry served your fortunes well. 

So I, good singer, sage of little worth, pilfer both heaven and earth, 
provinces of my brain, under the hands of the Lord, all light. I deftly 
pull from his fingers the roses of the dawn, the rings of the storm, 
the lilies of starry nights and gain little ineffable images, a heap of 
shining things stored up beneath my skull. 

To filch by slow degrees but sure, sweet Louis XI, man most rare} 
May God, good politician, rare among the Louis, hold you in His good 
care and as, in days of old, when you were pleased, your favorite grey- 
hound stretched beneath your breeches, mildly to judge by that grateful 
warmth appeased, beneath His golden slippers in Paradise may you be, 
blest little King at rest. His most fervent counsellor. 

And, for having praised you, counter to my teachers, and with all 
candour having kept your law, when the day of my doom is at hand, 
when I, in my turn, shall stand awaiting judgment at the bar above, 
pluck at God's robe that he place me in His love. 

Here Commences the Story of Louis XI. 

When good Pierre Crolavoine and Jean Le Damoisel, followed with 
furry pace by all the parliament, in the lurid flaring of two hundred 
torches, had enriched the basilique of Saint Denis with one more royal 
body, when Charles Seventh was laid beside Charles Sixth and each sad 
rite was consummated with all due ceremony. 

Then when this was noised abroad, set down in history, honestly cried 
through all the provinces, that a prince had perished in the Realm of 
France, when 'twas well averred that they had buried him, tranquilly 


agile the worthy dauphin Louis slipped back again from exile with the 
dream of reconciling economy and glory. 

Silvering earth with the lustre of all his chivalry, inheritor of Flan- 
ders and heir to Burgundy, called the Terror of the world. Count Charles 
of Charolais, preceding his cousin, impetuously towards Paris urged his 

With more sympathetic grace, at a mournful little pace, the proper 
lullaby sad musings to efface, making that journey hard in a manner 
fair to see, twenty Burgundians for guard, Louis came back from Bur- 
gundy. In panoply of black and bro^vn, perched on a black and yellow 
mare, perceiving Rheims upon his road it was his whim to sojourn there, 
in honor of that ancient town graciously there his tour to break and lay 
his pilgrim's burden dowTi for such a space as it would take to conse- 
crate a royal heir, letting the folk rich feasts prepare, ambrosial 
breakfasts, savory suppers, since Charles's father paid, elate with 
princely prodigality, his ancient uncle of Burgundy who followed him, 
in ducal state, — white beard and violent in the wind beneath his pennon, 
and behind a thousand staunch Burgundian troopers. 

Three days from summer's hoard each pelted each with flowers, while 
Rheimsian Bacchus poured his fiery-hearted powers. Long they recount 
those hours 'neath the ogive and the thatch. And long through fair 
Champagne, bald of the fur of hares, the forests of Ardennes, all virgin 
of wild boars, the vacant field and fen no sustenance affords to the poach- 
ers ' sharp-eyed watch. 

Nevertheless King Louis, now no more to be Louis as before, a King 
without a Kingdom, yet a King I trow, without a weight more royal his 
good mare's back to bow, after this brief cessation resumed the rocking 
gait of his gentle canter slow, so justly iodine to his silent meditation. 

— King without a Kingdom, true King, though, none the less. ... A 

doleful destiny ! he thought with heaviness. 

— In his own land to seem a little exiled King. . . . Ah, bitter Ib my 

cup ! Such was his sombre dream. 

— Behind, my uncle fell, my cousin bold before. . . . Portable prison 



— My wits are growing dull, I ween. By the Risen Christ, if in my do- 
main my kinsmen have a conquering mien and for the scepter seem full 
fain. Eeflect, good dauphin Louis . . . no, Louis Eleventh! I mistake. 
For whom does yonder barley grow ? Whose thirst will those fat melons 
slake ? — That of their owners. — If I take and hang them ? — Straight their 
crops revert to the King! So Gallic laws assert. — Where sprouts the 
grain ? Good uncle, say ! — Fair nephew, where but in the earth ? — And 
the melons grow in heaven, eh? — ^No, similarly. — That thing of mirth, a 
King without a Kingdom ! Fie ! What man presumed to say it ? I ? Not 
more dull, your Lordship, than M^as my sire, the late Charles Seventh, 
(may God above embrace him in eternal love and pardon the son that 
stirred his ire, yet no gall in the royal goblet mixed that he poured not 
himself in the cup of Charles Sixth) who said to you, "Brother, what 
manner of thing should you say that I am?" "You are the King!" — 
but he who suavely thus replied either had some after-thought or lied. 

And suddenly, more light, loosing his bridle rein to a rattling pace 
that rendered sore profane more than one gentle Knight who dallied in 
the race left to his OAvn devices, slow ambling to refresh his tongue with 
generous, juicy slices of melons, fresh-cut from the vine beneath a burn- 
ing sun * : "Bah, if a dupe I be I conquer Paris still, if Uncle Burgundy, 
complacent, pays the bill, and gives me all Gaul free!" Then stroking 
his palfry (his mare you opine), "My cousin may shine for his King in 
the tourney. What matter to me ! But three Kings ? Two too many ! ' ' 
Such were the thoughts that day of dauphin Louis, nay, of the King I 
wish to say. 

A sunken road in hriglit sun- 
ligJit. The King makes a 
grimace. BeMnd Jiim, Jiis valet 
savours a delicious melon. 

— "By the Risen Christ, *it is hot! Philippe Pot, a slice.' . . . Come 
hither, gentle spirit, talk with your King. Although you spring from 

* Whoever has crossed Champagne in the heart of summer will not blame 
them.— P. F. 


humble stock I know your merit. I love you, Philippe Pot, you love to 
whisper low. — ^What do you think of that ancient fox who follows my 
journey's course? 

— That he is old, and too old a fox has only half his force. 
— And of that gallant crimson lion who goes in front of me ? 
■ — He has pride to sell. . . . 
— 'Tissold! 

— And therewith the taint of treachery. 

• — That I '11 repay, believe me, giving him guile for guile. Paris is weary 
of wars. I think 'twill scarcely smile upon my martial cousin. 
— Paris? Ah, who can say what it loved yesteryear? "What it will love 
to-day . , . 

— Well said! I shall Paris 's proxy be and love what it will love to- 
morrow. You, I love you, Philippe Pot. Since from no books you bor- 
row your wit, you talk well. By the Risen Christ, a scorching heat! 
Philippe Pot, a slice. . . . Attend! and retain. Draw near, 'tis a mys- 
tery nefarious, a clanking skeleton grim, the lid of whose coffin should 
be clapped well on! It concerns our cousin. Know that a secret here 
is hid — where are you looking? — here! 'Tis this. It doth appear 
Charles the Terrible should be changed to Charles the Temerarious ! . . " 
So saying, he tapped his brow, sooth to say, with the slice of melon. 

And this gesture, soon made current with commentaries gay, thanks 
to that babbler arrant, Philippe Pot, who looked so sage, gained more 
than his madness stark for good Charles the Sixth had won, more than 
the Maid, Jeanne D'Arc, accomplished for his son, as much, should 
we wish indeed to pry through history's page and read of times afar, 
as, in a later age, with victories or without, the paleness of a plume for 
King Henry of Navarre, the eclat of a jet-black steed with a stratagem 
blond to pair, — this gesture debonair put prejudice to rout, dispelled 
suspicion's gloom till the chronicler attests even Burgundian breasts 
bore witness to the fame of this Louix Rex, so like the rest, eleventh 
monarch to bear that name. 

Red and gold in the night before them Paris glowed. 

— Look more closely, uncle dear, if that enfant terrible of yours make^ 
no sign, the sign is good. 


But this crimson and this gold were the blossoms of a fete, the banners 
and the flames, 'mid the rocket's soaring fire, were the flaring torches 
gold, the banners and the flowers that Paris, that good city, waved to- 
wards her royal sire. 

— Did you ever taste, good uncle, a sweeter summer night? 
— An odor honey-sweet blown from the stars there came. Through skies 
o'erlaid with gold the blue stars took their flight. And they, the stars, 
were a swarm of bright bees flying fleet with blue, adoring wings round 
a lily's golden flame. 

— Ah, gentle presages of the summer night ! From a height of the moon, 
dear uncle, bright beams of hope are sent. . . . 

— "Why, hoity toity, nephew! Hope did I hear you say? Does aught 
obstruct your way ? Are you not quite content ? 

Softly the King of France began to whistle a non-committal air, — ^while 
Luna about his tattered hood ran a silver hem of moonlight fair. 


Counts, barons, captains, chevaliers, all gentlemen of lineage high, 
and, proudest of the Frankish peers, the greatest, the most glorious one 
with whom no lesser light might vie, brave Charles of Charolais, eclips- 
ing all the rest, on a day when pure the azure shone and bells were 
ringing into Rouen, that goodly city pressed. And 'twas sweet pleasure 
to behold casques and cuirasses all ashine and gleaming housings mani- 
fold, bright housings cut from cloth of gold or velvet edged with ermine 
fine, while some pure damask did combine with fur of sable, and some, 
(God wot their cost was high), all of gold were wrought; and 'twas 
sweet pleasure to behold the scurrying pages, children fair, most richly 
dressed, and, dancing there, before that lordly legislature, rude peasants 
in a state of nature and lovely women nude, and, whirling 'mid the 
horses' hoofs dwarfs, pink, red, green, and maidens, too, in rustic coifs 
and o'er the roofs to see the floating standards bine sprinkled with 
golden stars, and gules, where, sable, a rampant lion cools his wrath, 
that with banners all white were blent, and, from the cathedral's sacred 
fount, in incensed pomp, across the square to see the violet clergy mount 


King Louis to hail, the envoy pale, of so grand a count, of so grand a 
count,* and the blue sky laughed through belfries high, all the bells rang 
out with joy or pain, how the gun-butts shone, how the lances gleamed! 
. . . 'Twas sweet pleasure to Avatch the crimson rain of jetting foun- 
tains where sweet wine streamed, hypocras, that all the assemblage 
quaffed : and, naked, on a scantling stage, three sirens like Eve in Para- 
dise, that played on lutes sweet, grave and rare, suave and imperial 
melodies; squires, on the great bridge o'er the Seine, unhooded ouselets 
painted blue and scattered all the city through one could find a thou- 
sand pleasures more that cost full many a louis d 'or. 

And then it was that the turn of the tourney came. 

Charles, in black armour dressed, where glinted golden fires, lajdng his 
lance in rest cried, ''For the King, messires!" and on his war-horse 
good he rode with headlong force towards stout Jean des Moulins, erect 
upon his horse. Mighty the onset was. Sonorous was the shock. 

Alas, Sir Jean, alas! He fell as falls a block. 

Whereat one saw the strong shudders of grief that ran through all 
the seated throng in hennin, scarf or fan, and, as in dreams, one heard 
a hum as when hives are stirred that many lips prolong to a faint and 
sibilant breeze, the flattering buzz of hushed applause through all the 


The night glides, chill and murk, through Paris. In its shades two 
trembling shadows lurk, two meagre little shades that shiver frigidly, 
then glide away through the dark. 

— Sweet Sire, I have sworn. This night we must depart. 
~'Tis well, but follow, follow. 

From little street to little street two little, meagi-e shades stir in the 
cold, — ^then stop. 

There, before a half-buried hovel, a voice, a little voice, faintly acrid, 
bitter-sweet, a little voice that steeps itself in tears. 
— I am neither lion nor wolf nor fox. I am a man. Croy, gently knock 
at that door and call, "Dame Simonne of the chains!" 

* As a matter of fact, Louis XI, wishing to keep away from Charles the Bold, 
was not a member of the party. 


— Dame Simonne of the chains ! 

— Good. Listen! Listen! . . . Ask if yesterday some member of her 
household did not die. 

— Dame Simonne, was Death here yesterday? 

— Alas, sweet Lord, then you have heard, you also. My son Joachim, 
my son, last night. 

— I am neither lion nor wolf nor fox. I am a man. Croy, aid me, com- 
fort me! Joachim! . . . Croy! I am neither lion nor wolf nor fox, 
being all three. Croy, I'm a man. Adieu, little being! . . . Joa- 
chim ! Come. So be it ! Let us go. Dame Simonne has been to me . . . 
Dame Simonne was to me . . . Croy, I am human. Croy, I weep a little 
life . . . Joachim! Alas! . . . my little child. . . . 

Night, thick and cold and murk, through Paris glides, one spies two 
little meagre shades that slide and sway in the dark. ... that little 
voice, steeped in tears, steeped in tears. ... those little broken 
cries ! 

Extracts from Book II. 
The League. 

After many a round-about they encountered man to man. 

Broached casks being trundled out, archers to drink began (this on 
both sides of the line) preparedness their plan, ("To guard oneself 
from funk in the deadly breach," they'd say, '' 'tis best to start the 
day by getting slightly drunk.") 

Proud Burgundy's left wing messire Saint Pol commands, while on 
the right wing stands the Count of Charolais. On the right wing of 
France rides the King while on t'other wing is discrete Messire de 
Main. The battle is complete. 

Between those serried files the chateau Mont-L'Hery perched on a 
little height half-smiles, ambiguously. 


My God, from these lips released shall there sound no trumpet's 
swell? Archers, their thirst appeased, joined battle. It is well. 

Count Charles of Charolais, advancing with his right against the left 
of France, routed Messire de Main who, being forced to fly, still flies 
across the plain. 

King Louis with his right thrusting against St. Pol who, as these 
lines recite, formed Burgundy's left, beheld Saint Pol and all his men, 
swifter than partridges that hurtle down the breeze, despatched in head- 
long flight from out our story's ken, not choosing to be killed. 

Louis Eleventh and Charolais, each one sure of the victory, from his 
place, as I scarcely need to say, rubbed hands together full gleefully. 

Towards the centre of the fray doth each in turn I'epair. 

And what did they see? — Alas! Sheer emptiness was there. 

Their zealous knights, having watched the combat and seen the fugi- 
tive crowds that pressed rearward both to the east and west, to the 
defeat having taken oath, followed their comrades, nothing loth, slipping 
away without drum or trumpet. And on the embattled plain the princes 
twain remain. 

Alone? Not wholly so. The chateau Mont-L'Hery (chateaux have 
got no legs so far as one can see or if they o^vn such things they tread 
upon the air), that warrior battle-scarred, no more content to wear its 
demi-smile, in the face of such unsoldierly gyrations, grunted its con- 
tumely from attic to foundations. 
— Left alone, though, none the less. 

To such a point that, by all the press of living men being quite for- 
saken, Louis Eleventh, that gallant Frenchman, and Charles of Charolais, 
his henchman (loving each other passing well), the fair occasion might 
have taken on this sweet summer morn to cry (with gesturing hands 
the more to tell their mutual trust and amity), "Why, what a welcome 
meeting! Sweet coz, a cordial greeting!" 

' But each, alas! in deadly fear rearward pell-mell did ride as though 
he saw some knacker near hankering for his hide. 

The truth I tell, whate'er betide. 


Yet at that selfsame hour approximately (for pray what in the sight 
of God is the space of an hour? of a day? a month? a year? — a year, 
why, one may well declare that for God 'tis the twink of time that 
'twould take to eat a pear), then at that selfsame hour Earl Warwick, 
who had planned, with Lancaster for liege, Fame's portals to unlock, 
in an Homeric shock twixt ten thousand Englishmen, unhappily was 
slain by Edward's baleful hand; in Spain, John Second, intent to purge 
that princely paragon, Carlos, in whose proud breast the seeds of treason 
stir, at one blow despatched two thousand grandees of Arragon; the 
fierce Mohammed Second, Ottoman emperor, put a brusque end to the 
oldest of the old world, terror-stunned, with one, titanic cimetar stroke 
destroying Trebizond: of Greeks and Turks a greater horde unshriven 
went to Jesus than the gold doubloons in cellar stored not by Louis 
Eleventh, but Croesus; avenging Venice, more bloody than a heart, her 
scaffold watered with those inquisitors malign who long in safety slaugh- 
tered; briefly, in England, Spain, Venice, Asia, one beheld a greater 
tide of gore upon the green earth spilled than at IMont-l'Hery, what do 
I say? than in France, known for knightly deeds, and more famous 
cavaliers dig spurs in flying steeds. 

None the less in no flattering sense 'tis meant. 

"By the Risen Christ!" quoth the King, content to regain the lines 
he had left that morning, "this warning is opportunely sent. Upon 
my scutcheon's fame a shameful blot 'twould fix, with clashing steel to 
vent the broils of politics." And to himself he smiles, "Success will 
swell my sails if against cunning wiles brute strength no more pre- 
vails!" — Wlien his attendants came by his chaplet's beads beguiled he 
blessed the Holy Name, most happy and most mild. 

Extracts from Book III. 
Master Oliver Le Dain. 

Bruges. Palace of tJie Duke of Burgundy, June IStJi, 1467. 
The old duke Philip died one night in the arms of his jesters three. 
A thousand follies did he recite of Charles the Seventh's court, then, in 
full cry, stopped short, — and paling suddenly. 


— ^**If you love me, gentle sirs, ring all your bells," said he. "To 
man's eternal home I think God summons me. My life's iniquity to 
you I now confess and my latest words as well, a web of groundless lies. 
Good Jehanne of Lorraine 'mongst men loved Charles the most but, of 
this be well advised, mistress she ne'er has been save to King Jesus 
Then bowed his head and rendered up the ghost. 

Tinkling their bells most mournfully (glide, glide, pointed shoe), 
through many a vacant corridor filed the Jesters three, straining on 
tiptoe, one finger in air. 

They stopped at every open door. "Monsieur de Commines! Mon- 
sieur de Commines!" they whispered. Never a voice replied. "No 
buffoon can A\ath Death compare," one of the three fools sighed. 

From attic to cellar their way they wended, from cellar to attic re- 
ascended. All was deserted. No. The moon followed their search 
from room to room. From window to window they saw her glide. ' ' She 
mocks us with that steady stare," one of the three fools sighed. 

On the towers to the East, to the "West, to the South, one tom-cat, 
two tom-cats, three tom-cats screech. Miaou-oo! Miaou-oo! Long live 
lean tom-cats and lean fools, too! — "Nothing can make the moon di- 
gress, ' ' one of the three fools sighed. 

On the tiles of the tower that is toward the North since that night no 
tom-cat ventures forth. There the good duke defunct doth too often 
rove to shine the moon with his golden glove. — scrip ! scrap ! the better 
to light his drinking, much having striven, the storms in his casque — 
scrip ! scrap ! the better to light his drinking. . . . 
— "Do our wits begin to craze?" muttered that trio of fools. All the 
world is at Liege, and monseigneur Charles. 

But thinking this they erred. 

For a chronicler, 'tis plain, that in fools to put belief is to take the 
flooding rain for a pocket-handkerchief. 

In truth, monseigneur Charles, adroitly insinuated into a cabinet's 
black recess, since dawn had w^atched and waited, hid from the heaven 's 
clear gaze to pry through the key-hole's chink with his great blue eye. 
Curled in that snug and secret nook he had seen the last grimace at the 
world on the face of the aged duke. 

And when our trio of fools, as dawn made bright the east (poor 
bumpkins that they were), after all this futile pother, reclimbed the 


spiral stair to the room of the late deceased, what sight confronts them 
there? . . . monseigneur Charles tenderly weeping before the duke his 

Low in the dust he kneeled, with frantic pantomime pardon for his 
misdeeds imploring. He besought a parting benediction, alas ! from that 
good aged duke so rigidly congealed, his breast still arrogant with store 
of jewels rare, gems that he left to sing 'neath the fingers of his heir. 

But never a word replied the good old gaffer, and for cause. 

In costly velvet clad, cuirassed with a scintillating AUadin's treasure, 
for three days now he had tasted scarcely a morsel of food, starved to 
death like a beggar, perishing of hunger, in a happy vision of angels, 
of bells and precious stones. 

So, while grim tocsins through belfried Bruges clanged the hoarse 
fanfare that calls to war and, in the morning's cloudy air an armed 
host wakened, their souls on fire with the gentle hope that they soon 
might go to sack Liege with savage glee, ravage and loot to their hearts* 
desire till the very walls should know their ire, Charles, Duke of Bur- 
gundy, went forth from his chateau. 


The tidings seemed so Heaven-sent, — an uncle dead so k propos — 
my dear little Louis Eleventh was fain to properly express his glee and 
gain additional content with a modest fete, but intimately, in pleasant 

Master Tristan, all imagination, counseled a picnic in the plain, and 
as he blinked with his sly red eyes, "I consent," said the King. " 'Tis 
good advice. You're an old villain, though, just the same." 

Next day, 'neath skies of celestial blue, gay and content, my sweet 
little King, Louis Eleventh, with Tristan L'Ermite and their fair, frail 
friends, Simonne of the Chains and Perrette of the Treasure, together 
came to fish for the gudgeon that swim in the Seine, at the reedy foot 
of the Tower of Nesle. 

Master Oliver, still a virgin, stands sentry near the river's margin. 
He strides along his tedious beat, crushing the grass with careless feet. 


Agape in boredom's black abyss no consolation can he find. The fall 
of Buridan it is that occupies his mind. 

Simonne of the Cliains, soul and heart fast bound to the heart and 
soul of her well-loved King, like a dainty water-lily bent above an ancient 
nenuphar, on her lover's threadbare shoulder leant her bosom's snows, 
her brow of milk, her little nose of swan-white silk ; and, now and then, 
the gracious King, Louis of France, with a tender look, would bid his 
lovely handmaid bring a squirming maggot to bait his hook. Then 
'twas with such a melting charm that into a small, green box she poured 
one, 'twas with such a sweet and profound appeal that she gave the 
creature, all quivering, to that reclining King, her adored one, that 
Louis the impulse no more restrains but kisses an ear (not the ear of 
the maggot but that of Simonne of the Chains), amorously whispering 
into its hollow, meekly bent, ** You 'shall be present when I call the Three 
Estates to Parliament." 

Perrette of the Treasure (formerly King Louis' light-o'-love, your 
pardon! — now bequeathed, a charming guerdon, to Tristan by royal 
clemency) was plump and fresh as a rambler rose, cheeks like a peach, 
ample bosom bare, where, in duplicate glows the rising sun, each breast 
an orb, but a pointed one, starred with grains of beauty ambulant (fleas 
I would say), whereon the gaunt Tristan from underneath his hood full 
often lets his glances brood. And when good Tristan, his line dra^vn 
taut, a fresher maggot would fain acquire, 'twas with a manner so lan- 
g:uor-fraught the plump dame granted this slight desire, that, quite 
transported with Cupid's blisses, he dropped his line her side to gain! 
The line, released, went flic, flac, floe, and sank beneath the Seine, while 
Perrette received on her neck, all warm, two or three hearty headsman 's 

Master Oliver, still a virgin, stands sentry near the river's margin. 
He strides along his tedious beat, crushing the grass with careless feet. 
Agape in boredom 's black abyss no consolation can he find. The fall of 
Buridan it is that occupies his mind. 

He saw with inattentive eyes, like a flower beside the river's brim, a 
certain Master Villon skim the reeds in chase of dragon-flies. From 
eyes ablaze with anarchy a side-long glance he sometimes sends towards 
the place where those boon-companions ply the angler's art with their 
gentle friends. Master Oliver, still a virgin, having other fish to fry, 


that advent scarcely heeds. Vaguely he saw Master Villon disrobe 
among the reeds, but merely murmured in slumbrous tone, like one 
who speaks in dreams, * * That naked gentleman is not unknown to me, it 

And Tristan L'Ermite landed naught. And Louis Eleventh landed 
naught. The maggots spun in vain, in vain. . . . And Master Francois 
Villon, now swimming in mid-Seine, as he floated, whispered to his 
brother fish, "Liberty forever! Don't let yourselves be caught!" 

** Gossip," said Tristan, "if you are good, and sage withal, I here 
engage to give you a pass, wherewith to break the cordon of the Scot- 
tish guard when I hang and when I decapitate." Quoth Perrette of 
the Treasure, "A neat reward." "And," continued Tristan, in merry 
vein, "if your heart does not bid you the fatal view shun, some fine 
Spring morning you shall see the rapid and joyous execution of the 
virgin Oliver le Dain." "I'll be there, I'll be there," responded Per- 
rette, clapping her hands with glee. 

— "Peace!" cried the King, "or this turbot I miss." 

— "A turbot, seigneur, is a fish of the sea," . . . timidly ventured the 
tender Simonne. "With my mother I've sold full many a one in the 
market-place of Saint-Honore in the time of my virginity. ' ' — * * A fish of 
the sea, eh? Then that was why I missed him!" the monarch made 
reply, not disconcerted in the least ! 

"Days that are o'er will return no more," hummed Perrette, on her 
hose intent. "Yes, youth has only a single time," Tristan intoned in 
hearty assent. Thereat the timid, the tender Simonne cooed to an air 
that is little known, " 'Twas twenty years ago my mother died." It 
needed only that. Tristan dissolved in tears. While the King as he 
fished the wind chanted stentorianly, "No, no, my friends, I do not 
wish a thing of naught to be ! . . . " 

And Tristan L'Ermite landed naught. And Louis Eleventh landed 
naught. In vain the tempting maggot spins. The aesthetic gudgeons 
loud applaud, clapping their frantic fins. Applaud no doubt, is figura- 
tive but who knows what fantastic dream is truth in the depths where 
fishes live at the bottom of the stream? 


At the reedy foot of the Tower of Nesle. those cronies good, headsman 
and King, in chorus sing like birds of the wood. And about their floats 
the little fish waltz as sweetly as heart could wish. 

Master Oliver, still a virgin, stands sentry near the river's margin. 

Then suddenly Perrette smothered a laugh in her skirt. My sweet 
little Louis Eleventh, feeling his line drawn taut and heaving it up 
with ardour, a king-fisher had caught. "A wager," Tristan said. Si- 
monne, "A winged gudgeon," cried. And Master Oliver halted dead 
in the middle of his stride. 

"On my word, the judgment was too empiric," mused Villon, swim- 
ming beneath the stream. "To fish for a gudgeon and catch a bird. . . . 
In the bourgeois soul of that curmudgeon mean, somewhere survives the 
germ of a lyric ! ' ' 

And about their floats the little fish waltzed as sweetly as heart could 

Extracts from Book XII. 
In Complicity with Heaven. 


It seemed that Master Tristan L'Ermite was not deceived. Burgundy 
judged herself considerably aggrieved, what do I say? dreamed only 
of vengeance, and lusted after war. To be just, when I speak of Bur- 
gundy one must substitute therefor Monseigneur Charles, those honest 
carles, the Burgundians, if interviewed, I know full well would have 
made reply, "Better it is one's phiz to dye with ruddy wine than with 
blood." What would you have? They are men of sense who naught 
of frontiers know save of the rustic sort that fence the fields where 
their harvests grow. 


The cities of the Somme regained beneath his caressing mittens, and 
the wealth he drew from Guyenne close-snuggled against his slippered 
feet, our clever King Louis found himself more powerful than ever. 
His royal soul could bask in happiness complete. 

Charles did not hesitate, but mustered up his rage, and, as one renda 
a garment weakened with wear and age, with a great and sudden blow 
he tore the truce asunder. The Flemish gold had aided him new armies 
to prepare. "With these once more he invaded France, led by the lure 
of plunder. 

Simultaneously he published a haughty proclamation bidding all 
peers and gentle-folk throughout the Gallic nation to unite for the over- 
throw of that villainous fratricide, — puffed up with spleen and pride 
'twas thus that his monarch he maligned, that good King who had crossed 
himself from his brow to the earth beneath when he heard the heavy 
tidings of his younger brother's death — to unite in avenging that most 
unnatural murder whose piteous parallel you could not find in the 
annals of Christian Europe for all of thirty years. 

Proclamation and spleen well sewed with fair white thread. 

Apparently the Duke of Burgundy within this specious snare was 
netted, but it was not he who had invented the thread to cut the am- 
brosial butter minted in his fair domain. From his side he waited 
Fortune's chances, keeping his lances whetted. 

Charles, from the other, took and pillaged Nesle, which city, for- 
merly his appurtenance, but ravished from him by King Louis of 
France some time since, in the alien interim had yielded to King Louis 
of France twice the love that it owed to him. For that grim counte- 
nance gave fear to all the world. 

Citizens, garrison, bowmen, burghers, wives, and babes were the ob- 
ject of a wholesale massacre, paying the price of defeat beneath the 
knives of their foemen till each street was softly paved with piles of 
slain. The blood above their bodies flowed in a current several inches 
deep. — ^When the Duke rode into the city great was his satisfaction. 
The tail of his horse was trailing in the blood. 

His face was lit by a wide and savage smile. 

"Behold the fruit," he cried, "that grows on the tree of war. A 
goodly sight, in sooth! By the rood, I have good butchers in my em- 

Then he spurred full tilt through the midst of the corpses, weeping 
with joy the while. 


King Louis, being a man experienced, swift and wise, upon that crim- 
son card let fall a trump with, speed. He had just concocted a plan of 
campaign, a simple stratef^' whereby to neutralize his enemy at need. 

Around the armies of Duke Charles, which gaped thereat in great 
amaze, the light-armed archers of the King, under the conduct of Dam- 
martin, ravaged the country, set ablaze the crops, and drove away the 
cattle. — Yet scrupulously avoided battle. — These skirmishers the .swal- 
low aped. If at the verge of the far horizon, uplifted 'gainst the heaven 's 
blue, they for an instant clapped their eyes on a standard with a lion, 
pfuitt ! at topmost speed away they flew, leaving around Duke Charles 
a barren plain bereft of harvests, villages and foes. 

Yet forward, none the less, he goes. 

He marches with close-clenched teeth, while his gut with hunger 

He marches to join with Brittany, his allj^ persisting ever in the 
fond belief that his brother-duke, having conquered in Normandy, with 
toothsome spoils is sated, being stayed with foaming milk and com- 
forted with apples. 

More weak, more thin, with every step he needs must stop some day. 

He stopped before Beauvais, which grimly awaited him. 

# ' * * * « « * 

Antoine Canard, whose surname was de Latre, equerry in the stable 
of the King, precipitately left the royal court, on the morning of July 
the twelfth, to bring a missive to the inhabitants of Beauvais under the 
seal of their most gracious King, Louis Eleventh, wherein he did convey 
"to his most deer and well-luved subjects" thanks for their vigorous, 
their leonine, resistance to Duke Charles of Burgundy, whose stubborn 
ranks besieged them with unshakable persistence. 

Though naught redounded to Duke Charles thereby save increments 
of shame and infamy. Always springing to the assault, always hurled 
back again. But if the point of his warlike lance was somewhat worn 
away, the edge of his robust appetite grew keener day by day. 

Alas ! the victuals were in Beauvais. 

When with his warriors true he strove their walls to scale, Beauvais* 
bold burghers threw, what, think you? roasted quail? No. Butter, 
radishes? Pray try another guess. Lambs? Oxen? "Well, not often. 
Fresh strawberries with cream? Canteloupe? Salsifies? Fie! You 
either mock or dream. Molten lead on their eye-balls dropped. 'Gainst 
their noses flaming torches fell, (full-blown roses, good to smell), and 
o'er all their bodies a joyous pell-mell, hurtled down from the ram- 


part's brink, comprised of furniture, paving stones, roofing-slates, bul- 
lets, half-gnawed bones, excrements of various sorts, sledges, anvils, nails, 
both big and little, wooden casks and steel retorts, casseroles, kitchen 
dishes, spittle, spoons, forks, frying-pans, urine, ink, hot grease and lots 
of boiling oil that sudden conflagration spreads, tomb-stones, well-curbs, 
gutters, walls, the belfry with the bell that calls a last alarm, and small 
bells, too, which graciously tintinnabulate rained down on those devoted 

What did they throw besides, naught but the truth to state 1 

Ah, many objects, sharp, contusing, slitting, cutting, smashing, bruis- 
ing, rough, protuberant, horned and jointed, toothed like a saw, like a 
plough-share pointed. Earth, sheet-metal, iron, steel, and chiselled stone 
were taken, humped, bristling, twisted, ragged, confused, irregular, mis- 
shapen, coated with rust and moss, in shreds, in strips, in wedges, 
pocked, riddled, shaped like a cross, like a jack, like a hook, with slash- 
ing, jagged edges, crashing, roaring, whistling, snoring, going humph, 
ouf, louf, pouf, pang, srang, trangl, balaam, bottom, bettang, batar, 
arara, raraboum, bul, bul, breloc, relic, relaps, mil, bomb, marl, broug, 
batocl, mirobol, pec, poc, quett, strict, pac, dyex, mec, pitt, sec, seef, 
swahf, fleek, fang, breec, brrrrr . . . that crushed the skulls, enlarged 
the noses, knit the ears, slit the mouths, sent in jumbled rout, teeth, chins, 
cheek-bones, elbows, arms, legs, toes, as, scorning one for an omelet no 
doubt, they wedded eye to eye, denuded the shoulder-blades, caved the 
thorax and chest in, chilled hearts past the pit of the paunch protruded, 
through the right buttock, then through the left one went prying, 
spinning them into a false intestine, bashed to a jelly the testacies, made 
knee-pans into billiard-balls, ravelled the feet into strange abortions, in 
an instant's span deftly cleft a man into five, six, seven quivering por- 

Yes, indeed, and now once more, what was it that they flung? 

Taunts, dead bodies, arrows, dung? 

Still better ! (tremble with me)— dwellings. And had aught increased 
the martial ire that swelled their bosoms, I suppose they'd have pitched 
the town entire on the helmets of their foes ! 

Happily Dammartin, anticipating this crisis, privily entered into 
Beauvais with his nimble bands of bowmen and bade the burghers stay 
these glorious disbursements. Estimating, wise warrior that he was, 
that 'twould embarrass his monarch such expenses to defray, he quickly 
brought the city to its senses, from that time forth conducting the de- 
fenses on lines conforming to the accepted mode. For from every side 


a vast array of troops each day towards the postern port press, eager 
to raise the siege of that valiant civic fortress. Duke Charles, a Caesar 
every inch, in his haste to ease his hunger-pinch with a crusty loaf, and 
his thirst to quench were it but with a firkin of unfermented wine, while 
with air-drawn dainties his mind made free, had omitted to militarily 
invest Beauvais on the side of Paris. And troops, troops, troops con- 
tinuously through that open pathway flowed. 

On this side, as on the other, one might suppose a joyous truce would 
soon protrude its nose. — The King, then, gave his valorous subjects 
thanks and by the missive Master Antoine Canard, chief equerry of his 
stable, did consign into their hands this fourteenth of July, exempted 
them from villein-tax and gabel, restored the ancient privileges bestowed 
upon Beauvais in the days of Philip the Fair, called them, to crown 
their honors' shining load, the worthy progenj'- of Charlemagne, saviours 
of the proud empire of the Franks, promising they should be perpetu- 
ally objects of his especial love and care. Then, in conclusion, begged, 
nay commanded them, to lay his royal honunage at the feet of a certain 
Dame Laisne, thenceforward known to fame as Jeanne Hachette. 

A glorious and an almost national fete was held in Beauvais that 
fourteenth of July. In default of chiming bells, that had gone to coif 
the climbing Burgundian, the martial trumpets blared their loud ac- 
claim. Banners brilliant with sunlight around the ramparts wound, 
the great procession of Saint Angedresme; and, to disgruntle Charles, 
with his faithful bastion-stormers, who, foiled and furious, watched them 
from the plain, tartlets were munched by public and performers. 


By easy stages, my sweet little Louis XI from Nantes to his little 
Plessis-le-Tour jaunted contentedly; fine and dark, supple and sweet, 
perched on his orange mare, oftentimes little Louis XI in the first gray 
dawn of day sniffing the odor of hay in the dew^' breeze ; 

oftentimes on the white road and whistling to the lark, at the edge 
of the nodding wheat that chimes 'neath the southeni sky ; 

skirting the hawthorn hedge, all armoured with snowy sheets that wave 
and dry in an ocean wind, surcharged with the salt of the sea ; 

oftentimes little Louis Eleventh slumbering peacefully, lulled by the 
drowsy motion of his mare ; 


little Louis XI shaded by azure forests deep (do you hear the voice 
of the cuckoo? — no, I am asleep). 

by the brink of the fountains where young virgins laugh between slim 
reeds with arrowy rain agleam, little Louis XI one eye uncloses, amply 
sufficient it would seem. 

by the reach of the stream where the curlews skim one drowzes, one 
rouses, one lives in a dream, a vision vague and dim; 

in front of the wind-mills that signal each to each, little Louis XI 
raised his hand in salute; 

not far from isolated granges where freely the fattened porker ranges, 
where the pigeon, beside the embastilled hare, in the quiet coos so sad 
an air that the heart is like to drown with sorrow, where at times a band 
of ducks and geese with gilded beaks in panic flees from the coming of 
a King of France who, in the farm-yard court perchance, from two sun- 
burned women, who smile beneath their sheaves, a bowl of fresh milk 
would borrow ; 

or on a wherry crossing o'er the waters of the lovely Loire, his fingers 
clutching the nostrils of his mare, his eyes on the rower of the ferry, a 
specimen extremely hairy, uncompromisingly hirsute ; 

or under the rosy favors a friendly tempest waves while crackling 
thunders surge the tufted cloud- wrack through; little Louis XI, with- 
out more ado, crosses himself with both hands yet saves the reins that 
he may more certainly be kept from hurtling earthward to crush some 
clump of spurge beneath his somewhat thinly cushioned rear: yet lets 
his frightened mare, in headlong flight, tear through the meadows, rush 
through flowering broom, plash under-foot the innocent marguerite, 
crush with her hoof the cowslips' petals five ; — in the midst of the storm's 
mad strife, quite calm upon his beast, he waits the rainbow to raise his 
head again, then emerges from the proof muddied from head to feet; 
clever little Louis XI had never the least complaint to urge ; 

near great chateaux, perched on hillsides olive-gray that skies blue-of- 
Franee surround with fleecy mist, little Louis XI rapidly steered his 
way ; and if to relieve his boredom, a country count appeared, whistle in 
teeth and bird on wrist, little Louis XI, one finger pressed to lips that 
a secret smile caressed, in his servitor's ear would whisper low this 
single word "Incognito . . .'*; 

near villages, grouped together like flotsam, on the plain behind the 
heather 's gently heaving swell ; 

infinitely rocking billows of the plain! all those shining villages 
by waves of herbage lulled! . . . (someone nods on his mare) ; 


when at evening he passed through the back-streeta of the towns, a 
strain of martial music often accompanied him : a troop of gamins beat- 
ing on pots in the sunset-crimsoned dust; little Louis XI marked the 
measure with his chin ; 

the hood pulled low o'er his brow he travelled tranquilly and though 
now and then a cow stared at him curiously, though an occasional cur 
or thistle-cropping ass with meditative gaze beheld their monarch pass, 
yet in truth the King on his tawny mare passed unrecognized every- 
where : 

oftentimes little Louis XI listening to the angelus in a wind that is 
laden with clustered memories ; 

oftentimes little Louis XI gnawing a crusty loaf (the white bread of 
our Lord, but with golden cheese above), for little Louis XI with never- 
failing zeal sought for his little oesophagus a palatable meal ; 

oftentimes little Louis XI in the twilight 's dusky deeps : it seems that 
he advances, one would say that he retreats ; 

or Louis XI, fine and dark, against a background of stars, lulled in a 
ray from the moon, little Louis XI his face upraised to heaven, his little 
bottom cradled on his mare, fine Valois head envisaging in dream force 
universal, little Louis XI probing the provinces of the firmament, slyly 
in search of his accomplice, God. 

Plessis-les-Tours ! — one crept in quietly . . . Charlotte slept. King 
Louis of France soon after did the same, — not without having seized the 
chance a little to tickle the dame. 





followed by 




Tityrus, on my cup warmly the season glows! Beneficent Tityrns, 
the wine you pour for me in its scented boxwood bowl doth range most 
amorously, like showery pearls that poise in the bosom of a rose. 

For round its bowl are wrought bright figures manifold, which vividly 
depict such gay adventuring, the beverage, clear wine or crystal from 
the spring, rejoices, through itself such pageants to behold. 

And oft their sight consoles my ennui, as I quaff, more than the Sabine 
wine so fresh from cups of wood. — Beneficent Tityrus, I have drunk. 
The wine is good. Follow my finger's end, regard, and learn to laugh. 

Here, first, I've shown a tree and, 'neath its leafy tent, four charm- 
ing, naked babes, chubby and innocent, like monkeys who rehearse their 
master's every move, mimic the gcsturings invented by young love. 

Tityrus dost thou know how, furious and blind, tyrannous love sub- 
dues all amorous mankind? Look, Tityrus. Approach. Your artist 
eyes to please, carved to the life behold the virtuous Hercules. 


He, thread by thread, unwinds, beneath the moon's pale mask, that 
which he wove by day under imijortunate eyes. At his lady's feet his 
club is dropped. Relaxed he lies, profoundly sunk in sleep above his 
little task. 

O'er all the amorous swains Love triumphs. By his doom Phoebus 
Apollo, god of circling planets, came a shepherd's humble cloak eagerly 
to assume. My great-coat is portrayed above his shoulder's flame. 

See, and 'tis I, Menalchus, — here, is it not well done? — who seize the 
reins and houp! drive headlong up the sky clear to the goblet's brim 
the coursers of the sun. Yet I cling to my car o'erturned in heaven's 

He who goes hurtling down is not T, be it understood. 'Tis Phaeton, 
indeed, at whom Menalchus mocks. Sheer to my flagon 's depths see hoW| 
he falls, and shocks, crushing his hapless head, on its sonorous wood. 

At her open casement there fair Danae inclines, and, trembling all 
at once, her heart wdth joy astir, at a dawn in whose dim light a golden 
shower shines, takes to her passionate breast the minted Jupiter. 

Do but behold this stream drawn with an art so true one hears the 
gentle strain its flowing w^aters sing. Nude Psyche, plunged waist deep 
in the wave and murmuring, combs out her golden hair, the breeze, the 
vaulting blue. 

Furling, unfurling, furling their wings three cupids fair, flutter about 
her head, dazed by so sweet a prize, one by the foot made fast is tangled 
in her hair. One burns his tongue with beams from those resplendent 

The third, through the wave perceiving the marvel of a thigh, recurl- 
ing tumbled locks where golden lustres gleam, and sleeking ruffled 
plumes, plunges besottedly, and drowns his silly self in the centre of 
the stream. 

"With luminous belly, see, 'neath branches beauteous, tippling from 
that great cask the fat Silenus pours, Bacchus, god of fruitful vines. — 
But 'tis enough discourse. . . . Hum! Hum! . . . the season's warm 
on my cup, good Tityrus ! 



Through Ijtic summers gay, when sunlight floods the air, while lush 
and verdant grass makes all the world more fair, swift gods and agile 
nymphs, in lovely multitude, speed o 'er the plains, by the swarm of their 
golden hair pursued. 

On their shoulders, azure drones of snoring ease partake. The lady- 
birds clasp flowers about their calves and thighs. At the rosy breasts of 
nymphs great yellow butterflies palpitate ; and their heels trail scarabs in 
their wake. 

Poised on the flank of hills, where silver sunlight pours, brown oreads 
emerge from temples white and small. Dryads, the light of groves, come 
trooping, one and all, slipping their naked forms through blue, arboreal 

"With May and roses crowned, or rushes from the weir, to the tawny 
arms of fauns the nymphs their waists resign. ''Raise like a dawn your 
arms through the troubled atmosphere, Eunice, Aeglea, Nais, Eione, 
Proserpine. ' * 

Beneath the wheat unveil your suppleness, Phrixa ! Pan follows you, 
both horns burning with solar fire. The frou-frou of your course through 
murmurous grass, Phrixa, has wakened in his heart full many a fell 

And thou, Pan, lithe and dark, fleet god, in mid-pursuit, bend down, 
on the bluets snuff the print of a lovely foot, pluck at a heel, entire the 
vermeil blossom pull. Thanks to your heat the wheat unfolds in baskets- 

Sudden, what frantic nymphs seek the horizon's rim, what sprites dis- 
solved in dew back to their fountains flee ! Lo, Morpheus comes, thick- 
veiled in shadowy gauzes dim. Each dryad, terror-struck, takes refuge in 
her tree. 

Swiftly the scrambling fauns attain the craggy height. Like will-o'- 
the wisps their horns efface each shining speck. Morpheus, god of shades, 
comes from the dawn in flight. The hot fist of the sun brandished above 
his neck. 


With summer's heady tufts his nostrils over-full, he staggers, Mor- 
pheus, the god with feet of wool ! Drunken with heated air himself the 
god assails, rending, with out-stretched arm, his dimly shimmering veils. 

In softest shade the grass his drowsy form doth fold. He sprawls along 
the grass regarding stainless skies. Zenithed Apollo plumbs the pupils 
of his eyes. He falls. His aqueous eyes smoke under lid.s of gold. 

Still Morpheus, proud-necked, defies the sunlight's force, and towards 
that orb, whose fires with frenzied poppies swarm, upheaves a streaming 
breast where silver planets course. . . . Infinite azure, now, is mirrored 
in his form. 

But soon, his ruddy hair, alluring many a bee, a bed of murmur soothes 
his flaming countenance. Swollen with veins, his fists relax upon his 
paunch. And on warm turf I hear a snoring deity. 

But hark! "With sounding honi Diana is awake! High o'er the for- 
est's verge she calls her greyhounds fleet, the color of the moon, in many 
a dim retreat scaring the stags deep-couched in berry-scented brake. 

From summer nights the god doth greatest pomp derive. Morpheus 
mounts superb amid fresh verdure's scent. Shaking his locks, with bees 
he fills the firmament. And stars in myriads buzz beneath the heaven's 
blue hive. 


Impetuous, ocean winds whipping his sun-bright hair, what man with 
dauntless feet thus spurneth vertigo. His long, triumphant shout en- 
wreaths the vales below with circling echoes long, swirled down through 
eddying air. 

Aurora, has some soul escaped hell 's scarlet mesh 1 What man with two 
gold wings dares heaven 's uncharted ways? Shouting he traverses a sky 
the hue of flesh that emerald-glinting dawn with laurels fair doth glaze. 

He soars. The sun appears. He gains its aureate glows, with rays like 
golden plumes enrobed resplendently. Piercing them with his wings, 


more swiftly still he goes. His image and his shade attend him o'er the 

He mounts, he runs, he swims the far aethereal meres, sporting and 
rolling there. What man and bird have mated? Backward he plunges 
down. 'Tis azure sky ! spheres ! . . . His shoulder has, through space, 
more largely palpitated. 

How soft the yielding blue! What matter though he falls? Like 
water's flow his flight ascends a gentle hill. He traverses, he tears the 
tempests' azure grill, and laughs at having wrecked those fragile prison 

Earth watches. One faint spark still shines uncertainly, one golden 
point that fades where dusky swallows flit. Seeking his image vague 
down heaven's swift-deepening pit, he laughs at Icarus decreasing on the 

He laughs, he flies, he mounts, he laughs, he has wide wings. For his 
delight the air he conquers. Mild and meek about his shining limbs the 
gentle azure clings and amorously rubs his shoulder and his cheek. 

Earth and mankind pursued in exultation fond, men 's eyes and moun- 
tain crests. The force of one, alone, love ! inertia's sway has vanquished 
and o'erthrown, and the sea, that mirrors him, has risen, vagabond. 

New mountain ranges rise created in a cry. Earth speaks and heaves. 
The oaks, the granite cliifs profound, the heathery plateaus where Titan 
midnights lie, are its voice. speak, ye plains, shaping yourselves with 

And men in myriads rise to emulation stirred. Standing, high pin- 
nacled, on the precipice 's rim, uplifting eyes and arms towards that bold 
human bird they feel their foreheads' veins pulse with their love for 

Yet Icarus flies on. It suits his pleasure well. He would find whence 
fire first came to kindle human clods, see, as medusas dim appear on 
ocean's swell from azure depths emerge the faces of the gods. 


What does he come to gain? He fain would know. He loves. What 
would he undertake ? He would see, the more to prize. What waits be- 
hind the blue? The deities one loves? **If 'tis but I who pass? If 
naught is in the skies ? ' * 

"Still I am Icarus! If there is only I, I love myself. then to pro- 
claim to man, 'My brother, none can blaspheme, except against himself. 
Great sky, if each is his own god can men not love each other ? ' " 

— And his waxen wings were fused. — deities barbarous ! His perish- 
able wings Jove's thunder-bolts annul. Go, fall, pursue the storm, return, 
sweet Icarus! — Let us mingle tears of love with the drops innumerable. 

But thou, Greece, land of gulfs and of wings, glorious land ! limpid 
with crystal vales that softly sheltered lie, fairer in pose of faith vertigi- 
nous, doth stand forevermore upraised towards the azui-e of the sky. 


Argo, great winged ship, shaped for adventurous quest, when fifty 
mighty sweeps from out your flanks respired, cleaving air and reaping 
seas, toward your far goal you pressed, and fifty heroes bold upon youi; 
benches choired. 

Was Jason drawn by you or was it he who led, poised on the prow, 
his arms crossed on the Gorgon's head, parting the wine-dark waves 
with bent glance unafraid that sped heroic hearts toward glory's acco- 

Uplifted on your keel was that divining tree, Dodona's oak, O Argo, 
that made your mast. Reared high, it stabbed with bare, lopped trunk 
the azure of the sky. Slitting its fragile silk, from west to east it 

Black, to its topmost spar athrill with strange unrest, it offered unto 
space an oracle supreme, demanding access there for man's eternal 
dream, and all the sea and sky unclosed at Jason's hest. 

Climbing the mountainous wave it seemed as if you flew, soaring 
above the spray, and your weight cradling you. High o'er the swollen 


sea you faced the tempest's hiss. Then headlong plunged again, whelmed 
in a green abyss. 

Prom wave to wave you went, breasting the wind's black spate, tra- 
versing azure, reaping seas, o'er foamy summits blown, Argo, great 
Avinged ship, designed to subjugate the uncharted universe, seas, lands, 
and skies unknown. 

You let along your track the human odour float from bare loins, shoul- 
ders, arms, bronze-lustred, lithe as steel, of fifty heroes bent above your 
gliding keel, then dazzling with raised eyes the clouded skies remote. 

You furrowed virile winds that glory 's breath outblew. 'er his great 
club Hercules dreamed, at the base of the druid mast. Orpheus touched 
his lyre, 'neath heavens obscure and vast, and sang that to wanderers 
the waves of stars are due. 

Jason forsook the prow, 'mid driving vapors dank, and saw his rowers' 
brows rocked to that rhythm rare. Castor and Pollux there swayed in 
the foremost rank, uniting, like two flames, the beacons of their hair. 

Deucalion, Phalerus, Theseus, Amphidamus, Iphis and Telamon, Piri- 
thoiis, Actor, Mopsus, Laocoon, lolas and Lynceus, Polyphemus, Glaucus, 
Meleager, Alector, 

the race of giants merged with the offspring of the gods, young men 
superb, old men in radiant majesty, sounders of each abyss of the soul 
or of the clouds, the shepherd-boys, the poets, the warriors, knee to 

those who had plumbed the world down to its burning mud, the con- 
querors of the Titans, the sons of Prometheus, ravishers of red flame, 
purgers of iron's dross, all those your call, stark ship, launched on the 
heaving flood, 

Amphion, Philoctetus, Aneeus, from Neptune sprung, Anceus, Lycur- 
gus' son, and Aesculapius, Oileus, Argus, Nauplius, Augias, bred by the 
sun, Phlias the son of Bacchus, Laertes, Peleus, 

near Cepheus, that stem priest, Almenus, son of Mars, young Nestor, 


bent to greet Atalanta beauteous. "With one accord they sang above their 
flying oars, the heroic burden led by the voice of Orpheus/ 

Orpheus had arisen, you voyaged toward azure heaven. Blue ban- 
ners of the winds clacked at your masthead's tip; then a great wave of 
stars by the lyre's sweet accents driven, upbore you to the sky where 
still you bounded, ship ! 

Force, wisdom, pride, and will, by obstacles unbent, in dazzling splen- 
dour glowed heroic brows above, and, with a bound, each brow upraised, 
magnificent, the insatiate thirst to know and the deep desire to love. 

Across the starry gulf they steered. Dodona's oak, moistened with 
cosmic dew, in human accents spoke. Amid their cloudy hair, the 
heroes, as they flew, felt the inchoate birth of constellations new. 

Eternal gravitations the Argonauts embrace. Cadencing hosts of 
stars, the lyre was lifted high. No more could Orpheus doubt the sing- 
ing lyre of Thrace was the sonorous soul and centre of the sky. 

Staunch Tiphys at the helm sent worlds to fly like foam, eddying down 
through space, still other worlds to lave. Argus and Nauplius bent, 
deciphering each wave. Polyphemus kneeled to night's illimitable 

Hercules laughed with rage. Swift doom he fain would loose on the 
Olympian gods in their ingratitude, since Hera, scoraful-eyed, hailed 
him as demigod, while lightly her white hand caressed his cudgel, Zeus. 

Iphis and Telamon, toward heaven's dark incubus raising their eyes, 
in the zenith their valour's goal could trace; and, amazed at the great 
number of the eyes of Uranus, the exhilarated giants toured genially 
through space. 

Aesculapius and Oileus reframed philosophies, in friendly chat. What 
words sublime and strange were these? Within each silver beard there 
rolled a starry dew. Atalanta in their fires annealed her darts anew. 

With deft, creative hands, Deucalion the wuse, moulding the luminous 
sleet that down his oar-blade rolls, fashioned in myriad swarms those 
silver butterflies that, low in Theseus' ear, he called immortal souls. 


Pirithoiis, laughing loud, stretched forth his mighty fists, helfting the 
stars like eggs, orbed Venus rosy-hued, irised Juno, Saturn gold, Mars 
ringed with whirling mists the colour of the moon, Jupiter red as blood. 

Regarding Orpheus, hearing his song's exultant swell, AmphidamusI 
wept, the worthy, susceptible old man. The agile Meleager up to the 
mast-head ran, there to refresh his hands with the world invisible. 

The young, mild Nestor whistled a tune beneath the moon's pale 
beam. Those stars that were their brows the Brethren merged in one. 
The pensive Philoctetus of solitude did dream. Augias watched the 
dawn, being blond Apollo's son. 

Towards the rounded globe of Earth the eyes of Jason strain, spun in 
a god's great fist, creation's humble cog. He gives a cry. His hands 
stretch towards the furrowed main, where famed Atlantis lifts two tri- 
angles of fog. 

Its sombre forests deep indented Europe shows, and on the foamy wave 
that bathes its rugged rim, 'tis like some Stygian night 'gainst morn- 
ing's molten glows. Green lakes and glacier-floes illume its shadows 

There burning Asia rears a buckler of bright gold. The mirrored 
isles of Greece, a flight of azure bees, plunge thither. And above the 
Afric deserts old, he sees the sand storms swirl their pillared vortices. 

The Sea above its bounds uplifts an azure breast where the fair coral 
isles like scarlet blood-drops roll. He sees the Earth, all white, as if 
in armour dressed, and the flaring boreal light that fans the frozen pole. 

In dizzying bounds, ship, you scaled the heavens' blue height. 
The spheres engulfed themselves in your wake's unwavering line. The 
Milky Way gushed forth from your poop ; and gods di\'ine with bludgeon- 
ing thunderbolts delayed your deathless flight. 

As streaming vapours blend, when Boreas pursues, their daunted forms 
recoil in unaccustomed fear. Hera expands her veils, flushed Ares shakes 
his spear, and fierce the lightnings flare in the bare fist of Zeus. 


Hurled from his brandished fist, a sudden bolt of fire traversed the 
seven cords that laced the throbbing lyre. Oi-pheus dropped his hands. 
'Midst hootings, Hercules, seizing her pliant bow from Atalanta's knees, 

fired! Reeking comets filled the ether. Wild with pain Hera reeled 
back through space, her breast all blood-besprent. Heaving his giant 
sledge through half the firmament, Vulcan smote your mounting prow 
and dashed you down again. 

At every jutting peak a planet crystallised, and you appeared, brave 
ship, with shimmering ice endued. You stopped, you bounded back and 
left emparadised, a new-born constellation, your white similitude. 

When downward you returned from night's profound demesne, proud 
hearts ecstatic beat with Olympus dimly seen. When 'neath your plung- 
ing prow the white foam spattered high, the phosphorescent sea was like a 
star-filled sky. 

High up above the mast each pensive hero sees, deep in celestial 
floods, their mirrored vessel bright. In the fixed eyes of Orpheus gazed 
haggard Hercules. Great-hearted Jason turned to interrogate the night. 

Towards what goal of his dream, for what vow of his soul, had you 
crossed the void of space, buoyant vessel brave ? He scanned the seas. 
The sirens that sang above the shoal quenched their regards and songs 
beneath the sheltering wave. 

Was Jason drawn by you, or was it he who led, poised on the prow, 
his arms crossed on the gorgon 's head, parting the wine-dark waves with 
bent glance unafraid, that sped heroic hearts toward glory's accolade? 

Fair on the prow was Jason in that effulgent day, with lifted, luminous 
arms to dawn 's first light upborne. 'er all the heroes ' brows one saw 
the lightning play. And Tiphys steered his course straight toward the 
roseate morn. 

"Land! Land!" and in the skies, kindling their quiet peace, stretch- 
ing dishevelled folds towards Jason's hands, there lay, billowing o'er all 
Asia the buniished Golden Fleece . . . Assembled on the prow which 
Btill pursued its way. 


Hercules with his club, with his wrecked lyre Orpheus bold, all that 
heroic crew with flashing oars outthrown, and Jason, with both hands 
grasping the Fleece of Gold, assaulting heaven's vault rose, and soared 
toward the Unknown, 




Why knot the amoret again? Lass, is loving worth the pain? The 
hawser has been snapped in two. Who pulled too hard then? Was it 

Was it I or was it some other one? The good god of the Christians? 
Who can tell? At all events the thing was done through nobody's fault, 
one knows it well. 

Into so many hearts love slips ! His cable moors so many ships, and 
through so many rings is passed! Whose fault if it frays and breaks 
at last? 

Too many an amorous man and maid in this world on the selfsame sin 
do strain. And is it love that is to blame if one finds his cord is some- 
what frayed? 

Why knot the amoret again? Lass, is loving worth the pain? The 
hawser has been snapped in two. Who pulled too hard ? In faith, 'twas 


Life is short, the sea is wide, my sweet. Our eyes will rarely meet 'tis 
plain. I am no sailor incomplete. Dead calms occur upon the main. 

One must be resigned. 

Life is short, the soa is wide. — And so this scares you? Ah, you love 
but me. If you a little loved the sea you would bid me go. 


One must be resigned. 

One must submit to death, nor chide, taking it like your love for me. 
Sweet, life is short, the sea is wide, and what must be must be, 

One must be resigned. 

Flat calms and hurricanes that rave, delays and distances remote, the 
sombre shoal, the hungry wave that gaping will engulf my boat. 

One must be resigned. 

And our love and your long waiting true and the new love that will 
come to you. 


You can depart. The sadness is for me. What do you care that I 'm 
no longer fair? Forget you? Ah! Our youngsters three are there. 
You can depart. The sadness is for me. 

You stay despite yourself. Our youngsters three resemble you. The 
sadness is for me. They all have sombre ej'es. My eyes are blue. They 
kiss me, then they run away. Like you ! 

You can depart. Oh, I will faithful be! You can depart. Remem- 
brance is for me. Go, Jean, another love awaits, your heart to snare. 
Go, Jean, my husband, go. The sea is very fair. 


When we two parted never a word was spoken. Almost we thought 
our love was sheer pretence. The silence, long drawn out, remained un- 
broken. One would have said it was indifference. 

Yet our embraces had been warm of yore. You said to me, "Five 
days." We thought together. ''Five days of kisses, they are quickly 
'er, 'Tis like a fleeting spell of sunny weather, ' ' 

Tomorrow, storm, today, blue skies adream. One must not ask too 
much of love, you know. And then, these sailors, always on the go! 
Ships touch and pass. . . . How short our kisses seem ! 



To the sea their hearts they vow. They will not come again. And 
even if they came would you recognise them now ? 

The ocean masks a man. If they return a while, we know not if they 
smile or weep beneath their tan. 

Dothey bring back their souls? No. Still at sea they toil. How ard- 
ently it rolls, greedy for precious spoil ! 

They will not come again. They choose waste seas to roam. And 
even if they came would they have really come ? 


To the kelp the dame is gone, in Guiana is the man, and the little 
house stands alone all the day. 

Alone? Through the closed green blinds in the darkness, something 
shines like a droplet of the sea. 

When the prison takes the man the ocean claims the dame and the 
one-eyed cat owns the little house all day. 


"When the fields are violet with heat in the mid-autumn evenings fair 
the cure of Langrune-sur-mer, plump, pensive priest with ruddy phiz, 
his breviary in his hand, surveys with eyes of absinthe sweet the violet, 
flower-besprinkled land. The guest of the parish road he is, rector ro- 
tund who lolls at ease, and till that hour compassionate when twilight 
spills abroad its dreams a bible ambulant he seems, who drags, with 
staid and pious gait, where devastated poplars arch, black boots and 
leaf-encumbered march. 

The priest of Langrune-on-the-sea, I have seen him. He has conquered 
me. It is my whim to be for him, Seigneur, another Lamartine. His 
phiz is crimson like my heart, but in his eyes of absinthe-green I have 
seen an ancient anguish start, as he heaved his paunch across the plain, 
ere day's last glimmerings were dead. In his eyes, pale, moist, and 
clear, I read regret and longing for the main. This little round cure— 
Ah, I am sly, you see. Now did I guess it pray? Did someone tell it 


me? — wished at sixteen, a lad of grace, a sailor's calling to embrace, this 
little, round cure. 

I would have you watch with me his eyes, the hue of day, when at dusk 
he hears the sea, to watch the tender ray of his glance when, rapt, he 
hears the sea climb sombre lands, on his cheeks and priestly bands to 
catch the glint of tears, when he sees its whiteness dim o'er ploughed 
fields. Left and right, hat and breviary fly to strew the roadside herb. 
In the furrows fast he flees, his white hair in the breeze, his eyes ablaze 
with light, towards the flood that summons him, that he craves all things 
above, this little, round cure in his lunacy superb ! 

And you would know that day how great a thing is love. 


With melancholy gaze fixed on the distant sails, the poor old crone 
inhales the pinch that comfort gives, and, as her snuff she sniffs, inhales 
the breeze as well, breathes the offing and the spray and all the memories 
sere in ocean's depths that dwell, the love she cherished once, lulled to 
rest its weeds among, her smoke-dried mariner who has gone to Davy 

Ah, the snuff, the pungent air, titillate all her soul and a vanished 
time recall, deep in her life entombed, the memory of a day drowned 
in the depth of days, the day the plighted pair, robust beneath the rib- 
bons, among their wedding guests, seated and drinking sweet, the open 
snuff-box passed, an heirloom of their race, wrought from the fragrant 
wood by a carver of figureheads. 

All that her life has known is regret and bitterness, yet the first of 
Fortune's smarts, the husband self-immei*sed, children that had no 
hearts! To be beaten, sweet it is when one loves the hand that smites, 
... by a husband, by a son, but by one's own flesh and blood. 'Tis still 
sweet, it is they ! But how when they are gone ? If prayer like arid sand 
is only bitterness to the mouth, all creased and lined from too much 
praying God, then little human means come to bring consolation, to- 
bacco by the waves : old memories . . . she sniffs. 

Ah, my God! 'Tis sweet to rest, crinkling her nose in dream, her 
poor old- woman's nose that formerly was fair, and to be borae awav 


upon the -wings that spread from out the ancient brain cased in that 
scarred, gray head. Here she received a blow from her grown son, ah, 
ya-yaie ! there from her wedded spouse, the temple was his choice, there 
from Marie- Annette, so big, her littlest one ! and there from Marie-Jean, 
the child she loved the best. 

And then, what would you have? What to do beneath the sun? 
Gather the slimy help? 'Twere better far to beg. For whom then 
should one keep one's dignity antique? 'Tis not for the good God who 
has left you thus alone. Two sous, three sous, four sous, that in your 
basket toss Parisian demi-mondes in the good months, toil's reward. 
Slight wind-falls such as these, one knows the end thereof. Two sous 
for the Eucharist and two to spend for snuff. 


Where then is my pain? I have no more pain. Where then is my 
love? Naught I reck thereof. 

On the sweet strand withdrawn, in this hour's serenity, in the inno- 
cence of dawn, the distant sea! 

Where then is my pain? I have no more pain. Where then is my 
love? Naught I reck thereof. 

Waves of ribbons bright, breeze from out the main, waves of ribbons 
bright twixt my fingers white. 

Where then is my love? I have no more pain. Where then is my 
pain ? Naught I reck thereof. 

O'er heaven's pearly way dreaming eyes pursue a sea-gull's plumage 
gray, all shining with the dew. 

I have no more pain. Where then is my love? Where then is my 
pain? I have no more love. 

In the innocent dawn, the distant sea! 'Tis but a murmuring at 
the margin of the sun. 

Where then is my pain? I have no more pain. 'Tis but a murmur- 
ing at the margin of the sun. 




Extracts from the First Book. 



(Boulevard Sebastopol.) 

Dawn tints the earth with rose, and all the balconies' gold palimpsest. 
'Tis the boulevard Sebastopol. On the sky-line glooms the gare de 

All night I must have tramped the mire, an airing to my griefs to 
give. No longer did I care to live. Then to catch cold was my desire. 

Sunlight at heart, 'tis a romance ! Well, my heart is warmed again, I 
find. I have seen, in a heaven blue-of-France, the wandering clouds, all 

In rose I see black buildings high. The trees are rose, the air is rose. 
It has rained, and all the roofs are rose. The pavement mirrors back 
the sky. 

I hear my heart. The sun's gold ball mounts. Chestnut-trees are 
flowering bright on the boulevard Sebastopol grown infinitely pure and 

All gleams, the gare de I'Est itself, the puddle that I splatter through. 
I laugh, as does that little elf with rosy mud upon her shoe. 


I'm cold no more. I laugh, I run. How brisk one feels at dawn of 
day! And I pursue a little fay who wades through pools of dazzling 

There's no more thought of dying now. Dawn! And I see the gold 
signs flare. I see flushed trees and crimsoned air, and, aglow, my heart 
to you I vow, 

little maiden, splashing gay through the roses of the Boulevard, 
and I forget, dawn's little fay, all evening's daughters, grim and hard. 

A kiss, yes! and I give you all the roses on the soil's fair breast, and 
the balconies' gold palimpsest, and the boulevard Sebastopol, on the 
horizon the gave de I'Est! 

Triumph ! ... as that sweet kiss I take each building to its roof -tree 
glows. ^Will you accept, for a poet's sake, Paris, that wondrous, burn- 
ing rose ? 

and the Victory's gold wings above the fountain of the Chatelet? 
Two crowns to deck the primrose-way, if you but willed it, of our love? 



(Monge Square.) 

Intoxication of spring ! The plot of grass is whirling round the statue 
of Voltaire. — In the green dress vernal sunbeams bring, 'tis an idyllic 
spot, Monge Square: green grass, green gratings, benches green, green 
guardian. In warm sunlight swirled, 'tis a fair corner of the world.— 
Intoxication of spring! The plot of grass is whirling round the statue 
of Voltaire. 

And birds are thronging through the branches pale where heaven 
unfolds its flowers of blue.— The pigeons love with tender coo. The 
sparrows flirt a jaunty tail. I wait. What happiness I gain in this 


delay's delicious pain ! I am gay. I am mad ! A lover time ! — And birds 
are thronging through the branches pale where heaven unfolds its flow- 
ers of blue. 

Upon a bench the hue of hope I mount, or rather poise with balanced 
stance, o'er the arches of the gay parterre, before the statue of Voltaire. 
Long life to all, to me, to France! In my breast springs hope's eternal 
fount. I have the wings of young romance. — To quit the earth upon a 
bench I mount, or rather poise with balanced stance. 

"At one," she said. It is no more than noon. To those who love the 
hour is fleet. — Birds sing. The languid sun-beams swoon. Each time 
that Eve and Adam meet they need a paradise complete. The omnibus, 
in torpid state, muses on this beyond the gate. — "At one," she said. It 
is no more than noon. To those who love the hour is fleet. 

Before the statue, two eats, tawny and white — and one is a she, the 
tawny one, — roll, tumble on the sunny lawn, cuff at each other miaul 
and fight. The sunlight amplifies your smile, mild Voltaire, my worthy 
faun. — Before your statue two cats, tawny and white, roll and tumble 
on the sunny lawn. 

To the song of birds the trees put forth their leaves. I feel the bud 
of my heart unfold ! — And I tremble only to behold the diamonds that 
the sprinkler sprays o'er the grass, a haze of droplets fine. A rainbow 
leaves the sage's spine and through a spreading chestnut weaves. — To 
the song of birds the trees put forth their leaves. I feel the bud of my 
heart unfold! 

The azure flames. 'Neath the bench where the guardian sleeps, a dog 
sniffs a dog with quivering nose. — Her skipping-rope a school-girl leaps. 
At her heels come others, rows on rows. The concourse of their shadows 
sweeps now large, now small, along the ground, while rivalling voices 
chant the round: "Little flame! Great flame! 'Tis to light the Blessed 
Name ! * ' — The azure flames. 'Neath the bench where the guardian sleeps 
a dog sniffs a dog with quivering nose. 

Here is the vendor of cocoa musical. Charged with gold taps he comes 
before us. His taps are gleaming serpents all whence squirts his bever- 
age sonorous in cups the clamouring children hold. Our appetite let us 
content. Quick, of your brew a penny-worth, dazzling Laocoon! I 


toast all Nature and the teeming earth. I toast thy bronze ebullient, 
thou who art smiling at me there, good, old Voltaire, sly, genial host. — 
Here is the vendor of cocoa musical. His taps are gleaming serpents all. 

Ah, Spring, what fire arises from the ground! "What fire descends 
from heavens fair! — Before the statue of Voltaire I await my Manon, 
newly found. And yet, though she is late, Voltaire still sits urbanely 
pondering. I follow his regard to where an Easter daisy breaks the turf. 
I wait — I wait, heaven! I wait, earth! I wait 'neath all the flames 
of Spring. 

'Tis two o'clock. Let us pluck this marguerite. "A little, much, most 
passionately. ..." Most passionately, Manon, be fleet! Come soon, 
come soon, I beg of thee. — Cynic you smile at me as though scant content 
to my soul to bring. Wretched encyclopaedist! — 0! . . . She comes 
'neath all the flames of Spring ! , . . 

And the trees revolve, and all the grass-plot turns around the statue 
of Voltaire. — In its tender greenness, one discerns 'tis a delicious spot, 
Monge Square. Green grass, green gratings, benches green, green guar- 
dian. In warm sunlight swirled 'tis a fair corner of the world. — I mount 
a bench the hue of true romance. They must see me now from every 
nook in France 1 


(On the evening of a quarrel with Manon.) 

They are selling flowers tonight the Pont au Change along. The air 
with every gust distills the tube-rose balm blent with the scent of dust. 
Tomorrow is the day to the Virgin sanctified. An hour all golden-bright 
streams through depths of western sky and sheds a tawny light amidst 
the sauntering throng. One sees the troubled stir of the place du Clidte- 
let where crowded street-cars glide, where hansoms jolt and sway. From 
a square that sprinklers spray a light mist mounts on high to undulate 


and blur the soaring Tour Saint-Jacques. The air with every gust dis- 
tills the tube-rose balm blent with the scents of dust. 

Upon the perfumed bridge I wander with the throng. Roses and pinks 
that ridge the concrete railings long, in odorous cascade come tumbling to 
the street to mix their petals sweet with the wheels' slow cavalcade, in 
whirling spokes enwound, with skirts that brush the ground, with the 
heedless rush of feet. 

Seven strokes will shortly sound from the clock of the Palais. O'er 
Paris roofs the west is like a lake of gold. A dubious storm doth scold 
from out the cloudy east. The air is warm in gusts. And thinking of 
Manon I sigh, and sigh again. The air is wann in gusts, and rocks 
the ample smell of flowers my feet have crushed, and I sigh to but be- 
hold fresh, violet currents run 'neath the arch of the Pont Neuf under 
the dying sun. ' ' Manon, your heart can say if I have loved you well 1 ' * 
Thunder growls from far away. The air is warm in gusts. 

Between the pots of flowers, the sheaves, the fresh bouquets, and each 
glimmering aperture of the balustrades, one sees a sluggish river glide 
'neath glints of sombre gold. It seems as though the Seine, oppressed, 
were soon to die with the passing of the sun whither turns its yearning 
tide. Its troubled water rolled in violet agonies bears far the rosy 
sprays dropped from the parapets. From the sun that sets in pain a 
final, feverish ray twixt the still quays doth touch the wideness of the 
Seine. With its burning pulse it beats each little wave that sighs. Dis- 
consolate I lean on the railing of the quay. The air surcharged with 
sweets is full of memories and my thought is of Manon who has made 
me bear so much. 

What starry ray doth glint o'er the Louvre where, far away, heaven 
still preserves the tint of hope? Ah, now I guess. Manon sang of it of 
yore : " It is the star of love. Do men and maids that yearn, there, on high, 
love evermore ? . . . " You burn through flowing tears, Venus, with dia- 
mond sheen, but a dark smoke comes between, j'our image fair to blast, as 
a bitter present conceals a happy past. What matter to the smoke the 
tears, the wretchedness of lovers sad who lean on the parapet at eve. "I 
will make fast my heart 'gainst all the dreams that grieve. ' ' What though 
a starry dew envelopes all the night or the swart tempest's gloom dusks 
heavens of apple-green. Nothing can touch the heart that beats for self 


alone. Once Manon sang to me "Love is ephemeral." "Even as yonr 
beauty is," I answered, "and your flesh, ..." Swift doom will blight 
these flowers that tremble 'neath the stonn. Heaven thunders, lightnings 
flare. I feel my strength return. 

downpour grave, austere, where mounts the soul of stones, and 
which, in plashing zones, diffuses frigid light, congeal my soul on fire, 
render my heart severe, impose your freshness sweet on the hands I 
hold to you! The rain a little clears. Its force declines ... I wait. 
. . . What! The full moon appears? "What! The clouds are passed 
and gone ? What ! All the heavens in bloom ? And the air with every 
gust distills the tube-rose balm, roses, and pinks, and dust? A star of 
love doth soar above the Louvre? I buy bouquets in goodly store, laugh 
from my heart's ripe core. What! Am I a brain-sick child? And to 
Manon I fly, my arms with roses piled, her pardon to implore. 


Pals of an hour, lovers' content, pocket-book and sentiment. 

Bullier whose splendour Ottoman, adorned with globed electric lights, 
a bevy of fair maids delights from the Tavern of the Pantheon, the East 
for twenty cents displayed, each odalisque in Avhose hareem for a five 
franc piece may be seen, save when the Lenten world repents, Bullier 
in gay mode Ottoman makes welcome all the sentiments that stir the 
pulsing youth of France 'neath its electric colonnade. 

Loves of a year, loves of a night, pals of an hour or an instant slight, 
fancies of students, passion-bent, the whims of future notaries, — pocket- 
book and sentiment, young process-servers' lunacies! if this should last 
one's life entire would one's good parents be content? — Hark to that 
churl in passion's fire: the lightning stroke, to die thereof, that old 
quack-doctor who'd aspire to little Esmeralda's love. "Dost thou re- 
member when they played "Espafia" since that hour malign my heart 
bleeds ..." We may well opine the doctor will not die of it. Later 'tis 
we the world will quit seared by the lightning of his trade. — Pals of an 
hour, lovers' content, pocket-book and sentiment. — And the prizes of the 
lotteries: Venus' loveliest devisings: these glorious passions of a year, 
and the sizings, the sizings, like the sweet butter that they smear baby's 


wlieaten slice above, the sizings that each day we shear from the soft 
loaf of love! 

I shine at Bullier, Passion's bard, I, Grand-I^Iaster of Sentiment. 
There I bring my hat a la Rembrandt and my cravat of dark foulard 
where gleams a Caesar's effigy and my frock-coat such as one might see 
on a Berlioz or Delacroix or an 1830 Hamlet, fain to the Courtille to 
fetch his pain, and my indolent acridity to seek Manon who flies from 
me. She sees my shade on the stair extend when black in Bullier, I 
descend, dragged at my heels as if 'twould be the mantle of Mounet- 

The East for twenty cents displayed each odalisque in whose hareem 
for a five franc piece may be seen, save when the Lenten world repents, 
Bullier in gay mode Ottoman makes welcome all the sentiments that 
stir the pulsing youth of France 'neath its electric colonnade. — Naught 
of the music I have said. 

Yet it is sweet tonight. It earns a place. I must not leave it out. 
They play "Espaiia" and the rout of Bullier all about me turns, or 
ought to turn beyond a doubt. But breast to breast, limb brushing 
limb, the muses of the Pantheon, with painters' botching 'prentices or 
blackamoors of all degrees (as with embryo sen^ants of the State whom 
seats in Parliament await) , mechanically are Bostonning. A dance pre- 
cise as cudgelling. Arms stiffly held, like levers staid. No more the 
terpsichorean wealth, impetuous bound, heroic spring, kick to unhook 
the moon on high ! But the air of having not the air. One is American, 
my dear. And why increase the pace at all? One is not epileptical. 
"Shun, shun hysterics!" is the cry. ** 'Neath the electric colonnade one 
caters to one's precious health. 

Manon takes her fill of joy, alone, beneath her hat of roses white. 
From arm to arm she passes on. She whirls, half-swooning with delight. 
Each that desires her favour wins. 'Tis that one sweeps her off her 
feet, and round the pair the ball-room spins. Useless to aid her. Fhing 
fleet, already other arms have clasped her. Her charms a negro's arms 
eclipse, whom amorous tremblings overmaster. A kiss from those full, 
blubber-lips . . . and Manon lifts her eyes of blue towards a brow enor- 
mous that displays round beads of s\veat, a gleaming dew. "A negro's 
kiss, this one repays! They say felicity 'twill bring." Manon hoists 
herself to tip-toes' height and gives her lovely head a toss that some- 


what lifts the roses white, drooping, Ophelia-like, across dishevelled hair. 
A woolly head bends 'neath the nails of fingers ten, and, with pursed, 
heart-shaped lips, Manon impairs her mouth's fictitious red on that 
enormous, sweating brow, * ' Good ! I will pay my homage now to your 
fair eyes, Jeanne la Roquine. — Have you seen her 'gainst her negro 
there? What, must one dote on blacking then? — Courage, 'tis but a 
silly prank. — Sweet child, I know the charm I lack. 'Tis but my gar- 
ments that are black. All negroes boast a sultan 's rank. 

Pals of an hour, lovers' content, pocket-book and sentiment. Her© 
blacks obtain a sultan's power. 

Jeanne la Roquine, come, leave the throng and sit beside this charm- 
ing hedge. — Thanks! Poetry sets my teeth on edge. — Tender heart, do 
you think I read you wrong? Your ruddy hair is ravishing. Come 
'neath the gi'Ot ; 'tis sombre blue. . . . Your fingers steal to my cravat ? 
I 'm no tame pigeon. None of that ! Drop your paws, Roquine. No, let 
them be. Beneath your snowy fingers, see, my Caesar sparkles in the 
gloom. Past praising is your deathly hue. ' ' 

In the room a pistol shot rings out. ** Roquine, do you smell the 
powder-reek?" But still Roquine is pale of cheek. More pallors come, 
in ghastly rout, amid the murmuring crowd to spread, now in mid- 
Boston halted dead, with the orchestra's arrested bows, gesticulations 

stopped in air You were there? You saw it, I suppose. What 

occurred? — Miserere. Be it so! 'Tis that old pseudo-medico who killed 
himself in his despair. — Ah, 'tis no every-day affair. — There by the 
shooting-booth he bleeds . . . His cocktail was but half consumed. Es- 
meralda drank a gin. They called each other names obscene. — To 
thoughts of death my soul was bowed but aloud the epigram I spoke 
which suited the occasion's needs. — "You have it there, the lightning- 
stroke. You said beside the shooting-booth he bled? His shot is paid, 
in truth." — "Esmeralda drank a gin. They called each other names 
obscene. This piques my curiosity," suddenly cried Jeanne la Roquine 
and towards the shooting-booth took flight. — When I arrived beside the 
blood among the foremost Manon stood. Then I saw her nodding roses 
white above a smile of artless youth. 

Loves of a year, loves of a night, loves of an hour or an instant slight. 
'Neath its electric colonnade Bullier, in gay mode Ottoman, makes wel- 
come all the sentiments that stir the pulsing youth of France. 


Extracts from 





My eyes like two black diamonds shine 'neath my Rembrandt hat. 
The coat I choose is wrought of raven broadcloth fine, and jet-black are 
my polished shoes. 

Black locks profuse 'round pallid chaps, long Valois nose that droops 
askance. A hint of mockery, perhaps. The rigid pose of arrogance. 

Ironic smile and frank regard (Nature, you also love to mock!) and 
the air of biting something hard when with a scheming knave I talk. 

Before the church of Saint-Germain, my shade beneath its steps supine, 
at times to watch the Louvre I'm fain, sad in the sunset's slow decline. 

A king I should have loved to be : some luckless Louis XIII, no doubt. 
— He's sly, indeed, who'd ferret out the sentimental poet in me. 

Yet for me, alas, as for all the rest, God fashioned a heart. Our 
Heavenly Sire, creating all things, loves to jest and seals in ice a raging 

All the sounding lyres of earth I need. The human soul I make my 
creed. My mind's an alembic. Gold is mixed there with blood, with 
roses and with Shakespeare. 


The blue eyes of a Clementine, her white arms raised, in brilliant light, 
to greet each spray of hawthorn white, the morn of young love's golden 


the smng, the bowers where roses twine, someone that whistles in 
the oats, our ravenous bites, your little slaps, the chuckling gurgle of 
red wine, 

on the cloth a ray of dazzling sun, the clink of forks, the gay romance 
sung by a young Italian who gazes skyward while he chants ; 

the wood that spreads an azure gloom, our good naps of the after- 
noon, your soft hand o 'er my heart that broods, chance wakings, tender 

the return, to the echo of our feet, your burdened breast, your sigh- 
ings sweet, and Nature that unfolds its charms and flowers, delicious 
as your arms, 

o'er a ruined wall the sunset dying (0 the ivy of Bas-Meudon!) the 
darkling path that ends so soon, the Seine, the fish, potatoes frying, 

green skies where one faint star intrudes. Saint Cloud illuming, our 
regret, visions of the pale path that yet might reconduct us to the woods, 

(it leads us home, day fades amain) — the scent as from a milky udder 
of summack, windows of a train that flashes past, your little shudder ; 

the spring, our love, your faith, my vows, tears and romances, pace 
by pace, the dusk beneath the forest boughs, the silence of our long 

ah, foolishness, one's heart to pain with vanished things that now are 
not, woes that our dreams alone retain and that already are forgot I 


Through the blue summer nights when the cicadas sing, God over 
France a cup o'er-brimmed with stars doth pour. A taste of summer 
skies to my lips the breezes bring! I fain would drink all space, so 
freshly silvered o'er. 


A goblet's frigid rim is evening's air to me, whence, with my eyes 
half-closed, I quaff with greedy zest, like to the cooling juice from a 
pomegranate pressed, starred freshness slow diffused from heaven's im- 

Couched on a velvet sward, whose grasses warm betray how they had 
sprawled at ease beneath the breath of day, I Avould drain tonight 
with what divine content, the cup immense and blue where wheels the 
firmament ! 

Am I Bacchus? Am I Pan? I tipple space. Elate, with the fresh- 
ness of the nights I slake my fever-fit, my mouth agape to heaven where 
planets scintillate. 0, let heaven flow in me or let me melt in it ! 

With their inebriate souls in heaven's starred cup immersed, Byron 
and Lamartine, Hugo and Shelly died. Yet changeless space is there. 
It rolls creation-wide. Scarce drunk it bears me hence, and I was still 
athirst ! 

Followed by LUCIENNE, little lyric romance. 


Take me, sea! 1 plunge. My suit do not contemn! Of metamor- 
phosis you own the magic spark? How happy I should be if, by a 
strategem, I went to join the troop of supple dolphins dark. Lend me 
their breath, their eyes, like tropic waters blue, that underneath your 
waves with sight undimmed can glide, and, that I may disport with 
greater ease in you, of a voluptuous form the sleek and sinuous hide. 

I leap the waves, I toy with every foaming crest. But 'tis the tem- 
pest's surge that crowns my heart's desire. In the hollow of its swell 
towards heaven's high portals pressed, to slither back, enmeshed in 
flakes of humid flre! . . . The storai still hangs aloof. I must await its 
call. Patient I'll be, waves. My live caresses thus you will repay 


again in tliat moment prodigal. And my white breast shall be your 
mistress amorous. 

On the surface now I swim, my skin with sunbeams bright. Like 
fronds of silver wrack my furrow follows me. I abandon it and plunge 
and go to find the night. But the sun's wheel still turns in depths of 
tossing sea. With the sun's wheel I turn beneath the surges there, and 
reascend to day. I am here, my skin ashine. Shivers of happiness make 
langorous my spine. The wave respires beneath. 0, but the sky is 

Sweet flying-fish that skim above my head demure, with vivid light- 
ning-flares you streak heaven 's azure dome. Transparent o 'er the bones 
I watch you go and come. I have good eyes for you and sudden gapings 
sure. Snap ! There are pleasures rare in the sky and on the sea. Snap ! 
Sweet and succulent fish 1 Snap ! Creatures small and bright, I am 
greedy for your flesh and 'tis felicity that in my gulping you I also 
gulp the light. 

The foam about me swirls, vibrant. I loll at ease. Blue, oblong bub- 
bles dart. Capsizing, waist in air, I give chase. the big one there! 
I will have him. No, he's gone. And on I undulate across the seven 
seas. — A singing fills my ears. To a sound my eyes are drawn. Spume 
spatters! A typhoon! I see it's rain. . . . But no, 'tis a jetting whale. 
Too warm in ocean's tepid flow it spouts a cooling drench while dream- 
ing in the sun. 

The shark disquiets me. Red-eyed and long of head, his lantern jaws 
convey I Imow not what vile dread. A while we fly his track's tumult- 
uous, cleaving surge. Voracious, brutal force! 'Tis ended! I sub- 
merge. A glimmering coral-bush its refuge offers me. I watch through 
waving fronds the Long-Head search the sea with red and roving eye. 
Does he spy me ? Neptune aid ! The beast I He comes ! The beast I . . . 
No, it is but his shade. 

wood of flaccid weeds with oily tangles strong, where the pale light 
of day escapes in tenuous shreds from the cradling summit reared so 
high above our heads, how I love the calm, green sea beneath your 
branches long! With indolent fins I swim your muffled waves among 
and ever as I move I feel the faint caress, the gently-brushing touch 
where my white belly gleams, along my back, my sides, and stroking 


every part, the subtle laziness of weedy fingers lean, of waves soft lan- 
gours steep, of rays in druid sleep, till tremblings somnolent, prolonged 
within my heart, leave me suspended there enmeshed in lulling dreams. 

The things I 've always loved I now behold again : the splendour mari- 
time of morning's crimson birth, winds marine that everywhere bright- 
shimmering silks upraise, the sweetness infinite of sunset in the bays, 
and the dishevelled robe nocturnal of the crags ; I see in the spray the 
gray reflections of the strands; I dream of lunar seas, gold lands with 
han^ests graced, and, vaguely glimpsed, the huge blue billows of the 
earth, whence sometimes, sheaf -like, jags an unexpected flame, uphurl- 
ing blackened rocks in the blue sky laid waste : and my heart is emulous 
of the unmounted main. 

A flight of circling gulls my memoiy doth dower. Led by its scarf of 
moire the whole day long I went. delicate delight of vision when the 
shower falls from its source di^dne, in silver palpitant, upon the tomd 
breast of the respiring sun. Into what amorous dream has my rapt 
fancy gone, dolphin? Skies of pearl, clouds shot vnth. carmine gleams, 
fair, fluttering butterflies about a perfumed isle, waves whispering in 
dreams, wide evening's tranquil smile, green rocks with pendulous weeds 
whence the ebbed ocean drips, a bright, full moon whose light filters to 
oj^ers ' lips ; I feel the night approach with fluctuant shades for guard ; 
and see from the vaulting nave of the grotto mjinad-starred that the 
sky-line lifts and shuts at the blue zenith's height, stalactite-like descend 
long rays of silver bright. A sudden clamour leaps from waves with 
tumult ta'en, and my heart is emulous of the unmounted main. 

Come, my dream, behold to what ardour intimate doth palpitate and 
yield Ocean's eternal flow. The current's tepid sheath to ribbands I 
have split. Onward I fly upborne by madrepores aglow. Thou that 
synthesized all life, obscure and might}- vat, to which the universe owes 
dolphins and their dreams, — Life's heaving forces burst in phosphores- 
cent streams within thy tide robust Avhere, luminous, I plunge. In deep 
abj^sms blue seethe primal growths of sponge. Hill vertebrae upthmst 
crests perpendicular. What things I see! gulfs! my distracted 
flight! All the soft azure swarm of medusas there respires. There, 
wreathing emerald whorls, the giant mosses thrive. Was that heat- 
lightning's flare, round the horizon s^virled? This waste of golden sand 
is nothing but a light . . . Here is death, and just beyond the whole of 
life astir. Black quiverings of kelp above a crumbled world where a 


precipice's brow lets roam its forest red. How much the ocean's bed is 
ruined and alive! 

Let us plumb these depths profound, my dream, for I would glut 
my eyes with caverns rent by travailling earth. Full fain the craters 
I would see, pressed close above their vent, distend their igneous throat 
to slake the whirhvind's rut and shake the mountain-tops' gigantic 
porous chain. I know them well. But the sea is jealous of their charms. 
More heavy let us be. More deep my %dsion bends, searching. From 
secret caves a gentle light ascends. I see (the lesser death through all 
my being goes), I have seen again these peaks upheaved by cosmic 
throes. Ocean in them fulfills her savage destiny. It overruns the earth, 
it lies with lava-floes. With all its yital force their sombre breasts it 
sows, and myriad flaming mouths exude a froth of shell. With the hot 
fires of 3^our heart, volcanoes, burn the sea! The sparks are vitalized! 
How SAvift the fishes dart! The bright sparks die. In this is all your 
task comprised? You draw the dead who come, a never-ending train, in 
your eternal flux life's heart to find again. O ashes, ashes, ashes. 
Sparks ... in a little space coral and kelp have hid that barren, craggy 
face, green jungles, swarming crabs and these devil-fishes fair, invading 
Ocean's lair with rope-like amorous arms; the hippocampi black your 
molten streams elude ; blue holuthurias shine : thine is the labour hard ; 
the humble sludge is starred and patterned like the skies. Though one 
day all this dies, the ashes you will guard. Imbibing death, the sea with 
phosphorescence gleams. You breathe it and your fires already ai'e re- 
newed — and mounting sea-birds soar to the creative sun. 

"If it is good to dream, then what should living heV Within my 
dorsal fin this thought has taken shape. Seized with gay vertigo it has 
awakened me. My tail undulates. Ho! ho! A trembling thrills my 
nape. Where am I and with what do I reel ? lovely eve ! . . . Could 
I in the sea so long with dreams my senses snare, when all its surface 
gray tumultuously doth heave? Pair is the storm, the sky. The flying 
foam is fair. Behold the mighty surge that brings me happiness. 'Tis 
no tempest, truth to tell, but what is that to me ! I leap in air, upborne 
by the roaring billows' ire. Rain lacks, but I've the spray. My heart 
is mad with glee. In the curve of vaulting waves towards heaven's high 
dome I press, to slither back, enmeshed in flakes of humid fire. I would 
bite the lightning-flash should it denounce me here to the injurious 
thunder-bolt. Ah, let me journey free! How red I must appear be- 
neath this copper sun ! What madness prompted me to make dim dreams 


my care? One must live. I am made for heaven, sea, and the space 
between. I chase a gleaming wave made amorously bare. She blinds 
me all at once. 'Tis to make my bliss more keen. This other has a 
breast defaced with hydras pale. Come on her back to see what wills 
the jealous one. For I adore them all. Towards none my love shall 
fail. Gay, passionate, perverse alike I must possess, and my white 
breast has found myriads of mistresses. How many do I make cry when 
tempests roar above? As well enumerate the planets' grains of sand, 
for dolphin never yet wearied of making love. Some are like stately 
trees that grow upon the land, some like smooth columns are, and some 
like sirens fair, but which my favorite is shall never be betrayed. I 
needs must go to scan the mighty sun, austere, who holds high court 
a while ere gliding in the crowds of the majestic stir and turning of 
the clouds. For that proud pilgrimage a road of gold is made. I shall 
leap, or rather fly, from crest to crest, press on, heading the dolphin 
troop through ambient seas of air, o'er all the waves of light till I at- 
tain the sun I 

Extracts from LUCIENNE 


*'Thi8 morn in the lily a bee doth sing : upon your finger chants a ring. 
From the forget-me-nots bird-song flashes: your brown eye laughs at 
me 'neath its lashes. 

'Tis thus I sing to you words without significance, sweet phrases that 
intoxicate preparing, as I lull you in my arms — my charms being words 
80 pure you would say that they were silence, which reassure you, non- 
chalant one, which reassure you of your lover's daring. 

"The moon's in the pool, in the rushes cool . . . like a bee in heaven 
the bright sun is . . . the cuckoo's refrains ring once and again. — To 
your white bosom sings my kiss. 


Since our loves can ne'er agi'ee, let's be gay, let's be gay I — since our 
loves can ne'er agree, laugh and while the hours away. 


If you loved, my love would make reply. Let's be gay, "'ct's be gay! — 
I would love, with loathing you repay, I fain would laugh until I die. 

"What does love bring but pain and fret ? Let 's be gay, let 's be gay. — 
Is love then worth the least regret? Laagh and while the hours away. 


From a little violet wine at not too dear a fee, my love, I have de- 
duced a whole philosophy. 

This wine, this sweet wine, unto sadness leads, and sadness in its turn 
to melancholy. 

and from there, my love, to blank forgetfulness. 

I forget the evenings 'neath the arbor's shade when the sweet wine 
filled my heart with glee since you were there and just for me. 

All the false, fair skies with hope's bright hue o'erlaid, ah! swiftly 
did they fade in our lifted glasses' shine, drunk with the wine they 
have fled! 

Far you have sped but forgetfulness is mine. 

The little violet wine to sadness leads and the sadness in its turn t© 


Alone in my blood I hold the whole of poesy. Death lingers far aloof 
till all things I have sung — even to you, blue mirage the sands among : 
some day I wish to sing your infidelity. 

Alone in my blood I hold the whole of poesy, some day I shall be dead, 
having sung each least detail — excepting you, perhaps, mistress admir- 
able ! Ah me, how shall I sing, undone, of one with faith so frail 1 





Followed by 






(Fragment: first pages.) 


Silence, the hay is sweet, and 'tis the hour of grain. 

soft, green heaven! Happy souls of those who scythe and sickle 
ply! The metal shines. The amis are bare. O'er the hill a horn of 
the moon doth bend. Let fair arms nonchalantly extend! As yet no 
shrilling cricket 's cry troubles the evening atmosphere. The day strews 
clouds, a roseate rain : one would say it shed its leaves to die, in the si- 
lence, at the horizon clear. 

Yes. I feel that the world is but a dream. The sun sets. The pale 
moon doth beam. Yes. ... I pass, they see my form appear, remote on 
the roadway's dusty reaches — in silhouette between the beeches — and 
they call to me and I make reply: ''Come, lads, have done with drudg- 
eries ! Enough you have laboured for today. Lay down the scythes, put 
the sickles by. Group youi*selves about me. I am here. Hark to the 
seller of images. 


From the crest of the hill I have not seen, approaching like a bank of 
mist, the cart that every eve keeps tryst to bring you to your hearth- 
fire's boon, nor, circling 'gainst the heaven's dull green, the whip of 
Toby. No. I've seen only the rising of the moon, and I have come to 
tell you this. 

This slope is more steep with every sun. Each day a day older are 
my shanks. Help me then — thanks — in my descent. Almost I upset you, 
little one ? — Great eyes of blue ... Do they love to dream ? fair, at- 
tentive chin ! Come here, that I may kiss you, sweet, and then hark to 
a true word in your ear. "The sun sets. The pale moon doth beam. 
My child, this world is but a dream. ' ' 

Heigh, don 't forget what I told you all ! I 've come to move your hearts 
to laughter. Last night I fathomed the hereafter, reading in palms what 
must befall. Bah ! For this evening I devise a legend strange and rare. 

And first — do you wish to please me well ? — Go, little ones, and dance 
a round so ■v\ild you will tumble to the ground, dizzied. Thereafter, I will 
tell the story of Coxcomb, he who fell naked from Paradise. 

Without so much as a blouse, poor wight, bare and pink, like a frog 
without its hide, arrived on earth in such a plight, judge if he was not 

Turn, turn, sweet lads and maidens shy, till you make the round in- 
deed a round. See how they wreathe a goodly crown upon the front of 

— Coxcomb, fallen sheer from the tempest's brow, thought himself 
god, seven times a man. Yet he was costumed God knows how . . . But 
the whole matter you shall scan. 

Come, you have whirled enough, I wis, for many now are lying prone. 
Wool-gathering all the wits have gone. Hark to the seller of images. 

— Since then he makes the tour of the world. Coxcomb, vendor of 
Verities, on his head a fool's cap proudly twirled (do you hear it tinkle 
in the breeze? . . .), in his hand a blade that oft assails the vanguards 
of the summer gales. 


Pell-mell at his heels policemen run, 'neath the rain, through the 
wind, and in the sun, for 'tis his boast he can invoke crowds of imagi- 
naiy folk, make the far horizon furnish throngs, and the depths of earth, 
to hear his songs. And if in a deserted land, Coxcomb, with lifted arm 
should stand launching a h}Tnn to the Infinite, indubitably you would 
hear each bush a murmuring transmit, "You have the right of it, 
Brigadier," and instantly on every hand, through fields, and roads and 
standing grain, policemen would give chase again. 

Who but myself should Coxcomb be? At least 'tis fitting thus to 
deem. Your pleasure will be more extreme, sweeter will prove your 

Good folk, attention. I commence. Those who do not comprehend the 
tale, the dolts and dullards, I'll dispatch to catch me flies in the moon- 
light pale. 

I hear the stars their silence trail like a veil immense o'er the gar- 
nered grain. At the far limit of the plain dies the sun. The hour is 

I shall only stop to blow my nose because of the evening dew. I fly on 
the wings of Fantasy. Remain here, seated, you! 

Those that are bored had best embrace, Jack kissing Jill and contrary- 
wise, and recommence their vows and sighs, not troubling me whate'er 
their case. 

Silence, the hay is sweet, and 'tis the hour of grain. See also whether 
. . . the hour is opportune. 

I fly on the wings of Fantasy, 'neath the silver of the moon. 


Frightened by Destiny, which to him this orb decreed, and dreading, 
furtively, lest he by chance exceed the sum of human souls that on Earth 
he should create, that number consecrate, which, where the gods abide. 
Earth's entity controls, and filled with panic fears lest he Destiny's law 
transgress, and wounded in his pride at his abasement slow from him- 
self to nothingness, till none his fame might know, our God, one of the 


least presiding o'er the spheres, Earth's primal deity, feeling a little 
old, with memory far from hale whose scope each day decreased, re- 
solved, one summer night, to count his universe, and, foreseeing the ap- 
proach of the Last Census Day, his company to coach, decided to rehearse 
the pageant in his Vale. 

And 'twas a wondrous sight, but none were there to see. 

Some in siestas deep by the Malayan Sea where o'er their honeyed 
sleep drowses the tulip-tree, others no doubt a prey to opium immense 
where all of China lay immersed in poppied trance, and the shepherds, 
too, who sat a dormant, pastoral group around Jehosophat, ringed by 
their bleating troupe, some at Beauvais in France, since night was well 
advanced, each on his wages bent, as though 'neath Morpheus' wand 
from Brest to Kohinoor, from Yedo to Golcond the living slept secure, 
yea slumbered like the dead, the thief beneath his tent, the banker in 
his bed, and the Cossack stretched, perforce, on the withers of his horse. 

Through that midnight, splendour-filled, all of the living slept, letting 
their souls, in crowds, escape from misty dreams to blend themselves, 
obscure, with the souls Death 's urn had spilled in multi-coloured streams, 
and those fallen from the clouds like a river of stars that swept down the 
Vale's declivity And 'twas a wondrous sight but none were there to 

On high archangels soared to sound the trumpet there, like lightning's 
vivid glare launching their thunders gold, and angels, garland-wise, 
sustained the trumpets blare, and the universe gleamed fair in the 
pavilions gold. 

And the sweet child-angels made their small hands shine again with 
the stars that thither strayed to re-illume their flame, or, from the blw- 
paved lodge allotted to their sway, trotted to play hop-scotch across the 
Milky Way. 

Above a forest, God was glorious at his ease. Bent towards the tawny 
fires that graced his fingers Vjland, he shone before the souls without 
an, "if you please," all in the eternal charm exhaled from each white 


Saint Michael, at his side, whirling his keen-edged sword, crated the 
Divine ceremoniously. The slopes of Olive's mount prolonged their 
dreaming, and the Popes, 'neath the roses, Latin sang to hymn the risen 

At the summit Lucifer of his sombre shadow made a screen and to 
his brows that velvet strove to bring. In vain ! His ruby glance con- 
sumed the succouring shade till his eyes blinked, half-blind, 'neath the 
rays' burnishing. 

But in truth the fairest thing would have been to hear the song, flush 
with the mountain line, 

the chorus of the stai-s. The air, so vast their throng, was all in seed- 
pearls fine, 

flush with the mountain line, and blithely did they sing: 

"A little living air our radiance still doth shed but we are little, blest 
religions that are dead. 'Tis true that they declare we are the stars. 
Ah, well, no prouder for that thought our microcosms swell. We are 
dead, dead, dead, yet keep unchanged eternally a little living air. Hark 
rather to the rare tinkling, our secret voice on the robe of Destiny. Have 
we not still the right to glory in our fire, being Destiny's choice, the 
gauds that deck her stately gown? 'Tis we, in all renown, spangle her 
night attire. What does it matter now! Enough of coquetrjM There's 
no more thought of us, lights innocent and fair. Hark to our song, 
regard where our merged radiance shines. Poised in the evening sky, 
evil Ave muse towards none, and 'tis the shepherds come to worship at 
our shrines. 


Yet, my sisters, we retain some curiosity, still doth the living world 
our ribbed composure nudge. My sisters, you are wise, bend from the 
skies and see! What doth this stir portend? What might this tu- 
mult be? 



Is it not some deity that they are going to judge? 


Ah, my sister, you don't know? According to report 'tis the Chris- 
tian's god, my sister, 


The Christian's god! . . . Hoho! Then -vve shall have good sport. 


'Twas the Sun that told me the circumstance. I combed his rays with 
my comb of blue. 


Waltz two by two. Behold our dance. 

As I have said above all of the living slept, some in siestas deep by 
the Malayan Sea where o'er their honeyed sleep drowses the tulip-tree; 
others no doubt a prey to opium immense where all of China lay im- 
mersed in poppied trance, souls to oblivion sent, who knows? perchance 
they snored, the thief beneath his tent, the banker in his bed, and the 
Cossack stretched, perforce, on the withers of his horse. 


All of the living slept? — save Coxcomb only. He to life that evening 
leapt, breathed by the Deity. 

Extracts from the Book of Visions. 


The rapturous lark has thrown to calm, uneehoing skies, his trill's 
last passionate spray. The harvests, zephyr-stirred, closing above the 
bird, take the last thought of day. Brushing the ears of grain a redly- 


slanting ray remounts to heaven's veiled dome. On the horizon clear 
it burns, to disappear in the abyss unknown. 

Pan, level mth the grain has raised his starry eyes. They light the 
flute that Pan to hairy lips applies. They light the dark, their eyes 
illume the ripened wheat, and his ten fingers fleet claspinc the reed that 

Swart chest that amber beads, in heaving chain, embrace (can they be 
moons thus ranged 'neath clouds of sable hue?). shaggy satyr's chest, 
those eyes illumine you ! They light — is it a dream — in the opal cameo 
suspended from the chain, pale, dead Diana's face. 

And I, who am the fields' reflective guardian, have ± recognized god 
Pan with earthward-drooping horns, who, sighing deep, regards his 
necklace? Suddenly, breathing a deeper sigh, he droops his head, to lie 
flush with the evening grain. 

And, cradled by its wave, he modulates the strain of his flute with 
nimble hands. 

Oh, how ecstatic song can light the standing wheat! Pan lifts a fin- 
ger, breathes, and shifts the key, while I, sad w^atcher of the fields, be- 
hold his breath divine and modulated sounds softly create the moon. 

Rapidly she has slipped above the sea of w-heat, the sweet moon like 
a bubble, then mounted to the depths of the nocturnal skj^ 

Pan, propped on elbows, watched from depths of lunar grain. 

Then from a wood nearby chanted the nightingale towards that full 
moon so fair ; upon the mounting trills of his voice sustained in air like 
a white flower that swoons, poised on a fountain's crest. 

Pan brooded, head on breast, letting the bird sing on. Sad, heedless 
of his reed, upon the bare earth laid, with trembling hand he weighed 
his necklace of dead moons. 

Did he think of perished gods? Deeply and long he sighed. Did 
he think of all the tasks his flute performed again, of rivers, of the breeze, 
of forests, of the dawn, of all the work contrived by deities dead and 


gone? Or did he dream of Hells extinguished by their fall? Was he 
dreaming of his soul, or of his flute of flame, the god with life aglow? 

He saw, regarding him, Diana's cameo. 

And suddenly Pan hurled to that still sphere above the final cry of 


To the heart of silence sing, shy bird that none may see ! The garden, 
listening, ecstatic bends to thee. 

The crescent moon reposes enchained in music's spell. No zephyr 
stirs the roses where chanteth Philomel. 

No breath in all the bower, where thicker perfumes throng from 
souls that lack the power to merge with that sweet song ! 

Like an appeal to gods of nether shade's desmesne, the panting night- 
ingale sings in the night serene, 

not to the flowers that lie where thicker perfumes throng because they 
cannot die to that requiem of song ! » 

Is it the silence breathes from its melodious heart? ... A rose-bush 
sheds its leaves new torpors to impart. 

Silence, with lightnings dressed, like Tempest, dusky-browed, then 
gently lulled to rest, a floating summer cloud, 

by that modulated hymn with pure and strident swell that to the 
moon exhales the soul of Philomel ! 

Is it a bird alone breathes that immortal song? — Ah, the enchanting 
tone forever should prolong. 

Or is it out of Hell that voice sings deathlessly. There is no wind at 
all to let the blossoms die. 


Night's shade no breeze discloses. Strange metamorphoses! The 
moonlight gives its aid to the ruin of the roses. 

Already every flower on its stem doth fail, and lo, like a white squall 
they drift, roses in vertigo, 

across the rapid space of dormant grasses dim in terror of your 
hymn, secret nightingale! 

In shiverings of di'ead, corollas leave their place. A mask hath over- 
spread the scared moon's shining face. 

O'er turf athrill with fears, pale petals shuddering, you oscillate to- 
wards earth and towards this thing one hears. 

Hark ! . . . From the shadows deep what sound profound doth start ? 
Is it the world 's great heart that 'neath the garden beats ? 

Hark! . . . Like the pulse of Fate, a single stroke . . . two . . . 
three. Muffled, precipitate, they mount sonorously. 

Prisoned in depths of earth a heart this way doth pass. Throbs of a 
mighty heart traverse the shaven grass. 

Where fluttering petals drift, earth heaves. What form divine a regal 
brow doth lift, blued in the soft moonshine ? 

The immortal goddess, she whose youth no years can quell, the puis- 
sant Cybele, listens to Philomel. 


Ivy has covered all the wall. How many hours, how many tears, sincq 
last we loved? How many years? 

No roses now. Ivy has crushed the vine. Soul, whither didst thou 
go? Climbing across the nests of nightingales, ivy has stifled the whole 

Wind, the deep wells are choked with the roses of yesterday. Is that 
your hiding-place, my dead wife? 


No one replies? Who would reply? ... Is it not best to listen to the 
wind that sighs through the grasses "My sweet love?" 

Flush with the roof the ancient, crimson sun is cut through the midst 
80 mournfully! 

Shall I bid the gardener come? The gardener? No. It would be 
better to summon Death to reap the long grass, 

so many memories and so much love, and the setting sun at the level 
of the earth ! 


Starred nights, white days and days of blue, each chasing each with 
gladsome mirth above the changing shapes of Earth, soon I'll no longer 
gaze on you; 

suns peeping through the leaves, to throw into the glade the tawny 
flames of lamps, of hearths, and dancing chains of lights that set the 
streets aglow, 

the flares from heaving barques that glance, the phosphor of an April 
sea, the planets beaming over France, faint lights I loved so eagerly, 

and you, the sweet, dear, trembling eyes, green rogues I did so much 
adore, I shall behold your dance no more ; I shall behold your dance no 

loves little lights that cheered the dark, lights of France, gold core of 
summer's husk — tonight there comes a greedy spark to burn the dead 
leaf of the dusk ! 

Death's mighty flame, whose golden worth so vastly all my soul in- 
vites that I shall close my eyes on Earth to the dancing of the little 


One does not need to credit death. The human heart to rest is fain. 
O'er sleeping fields the evening's breath dreams, and I hear eternity 
chime in the bending ears of grain. 


**Hark. An angelus dies in heaven's blue height." Be comforted. 
Hours pass away. Hushed is the belfry? God doth wake. The nightin- 
gale salutes the day, hid in the turret's rose-tree brake, and, in its turn, 
will mourn the night. 

"Hark. Once again the hour doth swell." But the bell's already 
fast asleep. Eternity is chiming deep borne by the sweet, tormented 
breath of zephyr and of Philomel. 

One does not need to credit death. 


The chairs and tables sleep. The tapestries are drawn. At times the 
royal bed gives forth a mournful groan. It is the wood. The soul of 
the old oak doth complain. Listen . . . Indeed, it groans scarcely at 
all. — Again! Listen . . . The hearth obscure with new life trembles. 
Three blue wisps of dancing flame are flickering weirdly blue. Waving 
adieu to walls marked with the fleurdelys. 

All fades. Obscurity puts the four walls to flight. 

A bright flare from the hearth recalls them to the eye. The bed, all 
shivering, utters a human sigh; and Philip of Valois emerges from a 
wall. Opens a chest, leaps in, and lets the cover fall. 

Dissembling Louis XI slips forth with pnident stealth. On his sombre 
hood there whirls a white mouse. One perceives, the arms of Brittany 
embroidered on their sleeves, each gaze devouring each, Charles VIII 
and Louis XII. Into the chest they leap and let the cover fall. 

The impish Francis II to puke in the hearth has gone. "With sheets 
upraised, the bed is like a ghost, indeed. In the chamber of the Kings 
how reigns to reigns succeed! Regard that cavernous chest. Did you 
not see it yawn ? 

All fades. Obscurity puts the four walls to flight. 


From the hearth a sudden spurt resummons them, and now Francis I 
with limping gait Henry II doth precede. Of Diane de Poitiers they 
dream with drooping brow. Then both together dive and close the 
oaken lid. 

This time 'tis Charles the Fifth whose sceptre shoves it back, the "Wise 
King. Faggots' flare tints him with crimson dyes. He leaps. What 
checks his leap ? The purple he has donned. Purple-enwound he leaps 
and drops his jewelled wand. Swiftly from lock to lock the hand of 
Justice flies turning the keys (eric! crac!). 

For here is John the Good. 

Stoop-shouldered, decked with chains that chime sad threnodies, the 
tortured smile of Christ and Christ's blue eyes he has. The madman 
Charles the Sixth lilies of France upheaves, scourging him well there- 
with from morion to greaves. Snapped petals fall. Charles Sixth, the 
drunkard, gathers them, and to his pious lips has pressed the ravaged 
stem. But ominously he reels. He has drunk too much, 'tis plain. 
'Neath three sepulchral falls the chest resounds again. 

The line of Valois kings in strange commotion move. The great bed 
shakes. The eleven Valois kings summon another. There, and in the 
mirrors, see, the oaken coffer gapes. In metamorphoses does Death his 
talents prove? At each yawning, horns of satyi's raise the lid, then 
instantly are hid. 

A silence dead ensues. 

Till out of murky shades there mounts a pallid face as the full moon 
doth rise. And the bed sees approach Charles IX with sombre eyes. 
Houp! The chest gulps him down. All disappears. One hears the 
nibbling of a mouse through infinite depths of space. 


The chairs and tables sleep. The tapestries are drawn. At times the 
royal bed gives foi-th a mournful gi'oan. It is the wood. The soul of 
the old oak doth complain. The yawning hearth obscure with new life 
trembles. Three blue wisps of dancing flame their flickering light pro- 


long to reap the crop of walls marked with the fleurdelys. The ceiling, 
in that glow, attains new height, the bed sinks in the shadows dread 
beneath its canopy. 

In the fluctuant gloom the room to phantoms is a prey. 

A last revealing ray strikes on the chest the round that, from it« gulfs 
profound, 'neath the half -closed lid escapes. 

On the flanks of the chest a ray illumes the round of shapes that in 
a tumult turn upon its ancient wood. 

The mirrors isolate and make jut forth the round of a dozen satyrs 
huge who, with lascivious bound, with capering limbs surround a goat 
half-dead with fright. And, mirrored thirty times in cry^stal facets 
bright, a Hercules of bronze whirls his gnarled cudgel's mass. 

The smile of him of Beam, one-half grimace, he has. He himself 1 
The very image ! 

The gloom is warm. A cry doth brood . . . 

In silence, at the gallop, by the storm of Ages and Ages and Ages 
driven amain, in silence, at the gallop of his steed of iron, lo, the em- 
peror Charlemagne hurtles across the room. Henri of Guise on his 
great black horse to that vision doth succeed. Having missed the way, 
a mirror ends his chase. Catherine de Medici's great and lovely face 
swims through the darkness — horrible to see ! 

'Tis then that Henri III draws from his lethargy a cry such as at 
night from depths of plains doth start, the cry of solitudes that shrills 
despairingly to numb the drowsing blood in the lone traveller's heart, 
and, on the instant, caught in the swaying curtain vdde, at a window 
toward the west, illumed with sunset's glow, a halberd's glistening head 
the velvet sweeps aside. Without, the day falls, red, with drifting 
flakes of snow. 


With raiment all of black the king has leaped fifom bed, and in the 
mirrors' depths his face interrogates, recoils from that pale mask, and, 


trembling, coifs his head. The black hat, sombre-plumed, his paleness 
isolates. "Will you come to rouse from sleep a blood that stupefies, 
thou liqueur?" he cries. The cup falls at his feet. Softly opening the 
door he harks to the antechamber, lighted with burnished swords, with 
clinking steel brimmed o'er. 

The gloves. The ebony cane. And forth he fares once more. 

"The King, gentlemen! The King!" — The halberds ring. Voices, 
whispering, scraping of chairs pushed to and fro. The sputtering twi- 
light glow underlines the gilded beams. Confused is the antechamber, 
with vassal shadows filled, bent towards a passageway where a white 
point draws near. 

Behind, the royal bed crouched 'neath its canopy, at the end of a 
passageway, where a w'hite point draws near. 

"The King!" — Second echo. — The halberds ring. 

What oval whiteness now at the height of a human face is shaking 
two long pearls like the full moon's glistening tears. Pale visage and 
long pearls, Henri the Third appears. And the vassal shadows, all the 
vassal shadows bow. 

Has a flight of withered leaves been tossed here by the blast? . . 

" — You, who risk an eye regard: does the dusk still underline the 

gilded roof -tree high? 

"_Yes, but the King? 

<* — The King, my son? . . . He has passed by. 

" — Quelus, my good friend, this smacks of prodigj''. 

" — Maugiron, Saint-Megrin, hear a strange history. Tonight the 
Shade of the King whirls through the palace, masked with the light of 
the moon, two tear-drops in its ears. 

" Does it go, among her clouds, Catherine to find once more? Look 

where it mounts the stair ! 

'«_'Tis at the second floor!" 

The halberds ring. Voices, whispering, scraping of chairs pushed to 
and fro. Without the day falls, red, with drifting flakes of snow. 



While the hurrying King runs up the empty stair, swinging his lan- 
tern's flare, who enters but Chicot? They surround the Fool who laughs 
and slips away and reappears below. His lantern's orange ray like a 
censer lifts and sways at the bottom of the stair. 

"Continue, Gentlemen, I seek a King," he says. 

The anteroom is dark with great pale corners there where already 
torches glow, kindled by many hands. One of them throws a flame of 
carmine and of snow. The swift hands separate. — One sees the hall 
entire. — Light at the ends of arms, swords flash in streaks of fire that, 
two by two, unite, peopling with sparks the air. Some blades there 
are that hum, others that click and clash. 'Neath shades of lunging 
forms the wall protrudes and sags. The quick feet of Mignons rustle 
along the flags. 

— "Chicot," Quelus cries, "the Ghost of the King doth roam. "What 
are you doing there, Chicot, do you wish to roam? Armed with your 
candle, you will see the thing ascend." 

— "No, I see it coming down." 

—Who then? 

— Henri of Guise. 

— The deuce! He is in Spain, (To you. Monsieur, a hit!) 

— Excuse me, my dear Sir, he descends the stairway now. 

— Take care of your words, Chicot! ... It's quite true, gentlemen, 
I saw him with these eyes." 

On the flagstones fall the swords. 

Meanwhile the hurrying King up the empty stairway flees to his 
mother Catherine there, in her clouds, and does not feel the limpid steel 
cuirass of Monseigneur de Guise who, at the landing's jog, draws back 
to let him pass. Still he's flesh and blood, this Duke, there's not a 
doubt of that ! His heart with vigour throbs. Yet not enough to rouse 
a clinking in the chill metal that Monseigneur, as he profoundly bows, 
conceals beneath his hat. 

At the bottom of the stair, all flames. The Duke descends. Step by 
step descends, like a phantom circumspect. They crowd, they look at 


him. The Duke has come from Spain like a phantom circumspect and 
takes his road direct from the chamber of the Queen. 

— ^"It's unbelievable," says Maugiron. 

— "This Guise is shrewd," says Saint-Megrin. 

— "Pray let his Lordship pass!" 

The limpid steel cuirass draws after it the rout of swords. All Blips 
away, and all is blotted out. 


Meanwhile Henry III, half-couched upon the rail, from the summit 
of the stair has, this time, seen everything. From his throat he drags 
a sob like the sobbing of a dove, then stands erect. 

A wall gapes open for the King. 

Here, nothing but a lamp illumining a hand. 

All, save this single hand and save the parchment scroll o*er whosei 
expanse that hand, plump, oldish, stiff with starch, conducts the goose's 
plume, or seeks the stand of ink, here all is plunged in gloom. At inter- 
vals the hand desists and disappears, and this is what the flame, that 
round the characters like a martyr writhes and twists, might then de- 
cipher there: 

"To Madame my daughter, the Catholic Queen. 

"My beloved daughter, my dear, my docile Isabelle, I have news of 
you from Spain, brought by Monsieur de Guise. It would be beautiful 
indeed to see all these wicked heretics flame up in a single torch (in 
France as you do there). Alas, my darling, here there's nothing can 
be done. There is only perversion and pain with us for your good 
mother. You know the pangs that it has pleased Heaven to send me, 
the greatest it ever has sent to anyone. Burn the heretics! Ah, yes! 
Charming bouquet of flames! A splendid bonfire, and a sacrifice ac- 
ceptable in the sight of God. But what of that, little daughter, naught 
can be done in France. Here all's shadow, even to the Shadow on the 
throne. . . . 


In the shadow of a face there hangs a lip, all pale. 'Neath a bonnet 
of black tulle a forehead bendeth low, with moving wrinkles scored like 
a belfry bird-befilled, and the more the forehead bends the higher doth 
it show. Catherine's lashes wet are shot with silver glows. One sees in 
silhouette the stern and delicate line of the long Italian nose, which the 
nostrils' fold doth pull as a bowstring curves a bow. 

It is the moment when Catherine, her lips apout, with a pacific peii 
the impolitic phrase strikes out. 

But another visage now has risen in the room. Behind her Catherine 
feels that a pallor slowly moves. She has ceased to ^vrite, of naught but 
her beating heart aware. Two small hands in gloves upon her shoul- 
ders fall, like a pair of bats despatched by a single cudgel blow. And 
one little hand, circling towards her heart, stiffly clenches there. . . , 

With the end of her goose's quill Catherine pensively, softly, caresses 
it. And both dream and the hour is full of indolence. 

Trembling, the hand becomes less tense. . . . By one finger! See, 
the parchment pointed at by but one finger now! "Here all's shadow 
even to the Shadow on the throne." 

Two hands have grasped the neck of Catherine, and the Queen, rais- 
ing her terrible brow, shrieks, "My King!" A sudden squeak of the 
parquetry betrays a hasty flight, and soon Henry the Third descends 
the blankness of the stair. 


He threads the anteroom, deserted and obscure, throws himself against 
a wall, both arms extended vnde, and seeks the passageway along the 
empty wall. 

Vacancy, naught beside. 

The King reels, runs forward, reels; he runs to his open door and 
within would make his way but, \vith hand on throat, he halts, all livid 
with dismay, before a halberd tall that sleepily doth sway. 


Henry catches at the leg of the guard and wakens him for — Stupor !■ 
— ^there behind the guard that he awakes, there in his bed reclined, 
someone or something takes the image of himself (is perhaps himself, 
indeed), dim black and white, a man, a King or some such thing. A 
King perhaps? Charles Ninth? Francis? A ghost, outspread upon the 
royal couch, who sleeps as sleep the dead. 

"Guard! Ho there, guard! Who lies on the couch of the King of 
France? "Whose is that pallid brow? Those rags belong to me! Did I 
go out just now? Is it myself I see? What is that thing? — "Alas!" 
says the man, his eyes astare, alas, my worthy lord, but I ... I do not 

"Silence," says a voice. A voice says, " Silence. ..." And the King, 
close huddled, gapes and shakes like a frog in bitter cold. The bold 
halberdier escapes letting his halberd fall. 

"Sweet Sire, 'tis naught. Chicot reposes, that is all." 

And Chicot decamps with speed dragging a pair of sheets. 


Midnight! . . . 

Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois sonorous midnight beats. 



Extracts from Coucy-le-CJiateau, 


I said, "I shall behold white cloudlets, round and fair, in traversing 
the town, bare to the heaven's blue shine, each from its neighbor born, 
like bubbles of the air, above a roof whose ridge the turtle-doves align." 


"To the right a belfry-top the hue of pigeon's down through the calm 
atmosphere will softly coo the hours; to the left the donjon-keep with 
fingers of Spring flowers will place upon its head a battlemented crown," 

I arrive. 'Tis as I dreamed. Clouds, bclfr>', donjon-keep. 'Tia 
Couej'-le-Chateau. I have divined it well. And the roof whose ridge 
aligns the turtle-doves, asleep, by a kind freak of Fate surmounteth my 

The ''Apple of Gold" I see, limned on the sign-board staunch, with 
tightly-twisted stem (a masterpiece, 'tis clear) above the portico be- 
neath whose shade the paunch, white-aproned, of mine host recoils as 
I draw near. 

Sleeves, apron, trousers, cap, whiter than Easter flowers, red hands, 
pink face of frank Roger Bontemps, and lo, thrust in his belt obese, the 
knife that carves the towers, on every^ Sunday noon, of Coucy-le-Gateau, 

these are the traits I see, peace to my heart to bring, of ]\Ionsieur- 
Champion-at-your-service. — My portmanteaus have fled instanter from 
my hands, soon disinherited. My umbrella disappears. "Will he take 
everything ? 

I recoil, too, in my turn. Laughing with hearty laughter (mine) I 
remark, "Madame, in the carriage follows after. She does not care to 
climb these steep ascents, Madame. ' ' And we laugh, we laugh, we laugh, 
I and Monsieur Champion. 

Enough. I turn my back, in high content once more, and, traveller 
truly French, I stroll the city o'er to show myself to the yews, to the 
barber's flasks, to the shield of the notary, bright with gold, toi the liliea 
of the field, 

pansies and gilly-flowers, beloved by shutters blue, to the cobblestones 
caressed by a young pimpernel, to the fountain of the town, to its hol- 
low-bellied shell, to the cooing belfry-top, in fact, to all the view. 

Children, five, six, seven, eight throng at my heels, big-eyed at the 
salient nose whose glows the velvet cape illume of this stranger in full 
day descended from the moon, "with a fried whiting's eyes," a shrill- 
voiced urchin cries. 


I buy them a red egg at the grocery. Luscious food ! Behold me popu- 
lar! Ere long a dusty cloud encompassing me round makes me ap- 
pear a god who from Olympus smiles at the acclaiming crowd. 

With fortunes quickly gained, the sad aftermath ! What revolution 
hath exploded 'gainst my legs? They wish red eggs, red eggs, in ever- 
fresh supplies. — I buy and throw. — An egg of truly monstrous size 

demolishes, morhleu! the hat for grand occasions of Suzon as she 
drives the guide-book sights to view. A leap. I gain her side. We 
vanish in a hue and cry, a mist of gold, a thunder of ovations. 

With the bravo of the stones all Coucy now doth fete us. Our cour- 
ier's a scared fowl, saved from the horse's hoofs. And over the Place 
Haute, to better contemplate us, the craning clouds ascend the ladder 
of the roofs. 

Suzon, look closely now ! At the corner of the square you will shortly 
see a man, voracious-eyed, appear, who will greet us from afar with 
stretched, quadruple chin, then will compress its folds like an ac- 

in measure, Suzon, as our pair august the while, with statures still 
increased dilating pupils fill. Should he embrace you not, impute no 
lack of will. His arms already form the basket of his smile. 

In spotless napery, behold Monsieur Champion, weapon at paunch. 
The last of Coucy 's sires ? ... I see at his side Madame, his spouse, who 
curtsies smilingly. A pretty face, hum, hum, I know him well, Suzon. ' ' 

Half -past eleven doth peal from the belfry. Joyous chimes! In the 
kitchens casseroles are bubbling on the stoves. Fair Easter, fairest hour 
of the dial, hour when one dines, while the city fans itself with circling 
flights of doves! 

Extracts from SENLIS. 

I go out. Has all the town this morning dropped from sight? Pray 
whither has it flown? By what wind, in what land? I find it yet I 


scarce dare to extend my hand. Senlis is vaporous, a veil of muslin 

What? I to tear Senlis? Take care, where has it gone? The roofs 
and walls are one clear net of vapour fine. Notre-Dame doth to the air 
her throat of lace resign, her dainty neck, her breast the colour of the 

where chimes the hour unreal whose peal can only be heard by angels 
'tis so dulled in the pillow of the sky made of their sno\\'^' wings ex- 
panded dreamily, where God doth rest his brow, bending above Senlis. 


The stormy silence stirs and hums. Will there be none that this way 
comes ? 

Cobblestones count geraniums. Geraniums count the cobblestones. 

Dream, young girl, at your casement high. Shelled green peas before 
you lie. 

They plump the apron white you try with rosy finger-tips to tie. 

I pass, in black from head to feet. Is it forked lightning troubles thee, 

young maiden, or the sight of me? The peas have fallen in the street. 

Sombre, I pass. Behind I see cobblestones count each fallen pea. 

The stormy silence stirs and hums. Will there be none that this way* 



As an aspen quivers, 'gainst this heart of mine be a ray that shivers 
soft as satin fine. 

Blue and alabaster is my goddess bright. Rabbits frolic past her 
through the summer night. 


Pale the perron gleameth. All your nudity to my bosom streameth, 
star that falls on me! 

How your neck, Margot, with your haunch doth glide! Rabbits far 
and wide fluff white tails below. 

All things blend and move. "Who will laugh to see these poor butts 
that prove Dian's archery? 


From a great voyage I come again and from the limits of the plain, 
gay hunter who through heaven doth chase while ruminating roundelays. 

Tarantara ! on my shoulders, ah ! I bear venison . . . Tarantara ! Not 
much but I can say with reason 'tis good considering the season. 

Margot, within her rosy room, flushed with her hope's effulgent light, 
practices Grieg, the selfsame tune I heard her playing yesternight. 

With shouldered gun, to hear I pause. The tune my ear already 
reaches. Day, in the shelter of the beeches, swift her obscuring curtain 

The scolding wind of autumn comes, shakes the green barrier to and 
fro . . . the petals of geraniums through the wide-open doorway blow. 

A ring its tangled maze doth weave, on ivory keys to quench its fires, 
on a theme of Chopin, the desires of my fond heart, the tranquil eve. 

The ring upon her fleeting hand in the player's shadow veils its spark, 
as, dropped behind the forests dark, the sun has vanished from the 

A joyous cry awakes you. 'Tis your heart's deep instinct thus ex- 
pressed. I'm there, against the trellises in a gay hunter's costume 


New trills, like mad, tumultuous words, unknown to these composer- 
chaps, simulate mockeries of birds . . . towards that great gun of mine, 

But to your hand that trembles there in the last rays of evening light, 
uplifted towards me, blue and white, whistling, I give a slaughtered 

"Oh, Nimrod, did it cost a lot? — Hmm! ... Be that as it may. 
Pile high the kitchen fire, put on the pot. And let them hang me if I 

The sky is one great emerald from south to septentrion. "Ah, fie 
on such quarry! "What, a hare, Nimrod? Another time 'twill be a 

Piqued, "Play me some Lecocq," I beg. I break the shell of my boiled 
egg. From a great voyage I come again and from the limits of the plain. 


Followed by 




To Francis J. . . . 

Francis, you realize, from loving Ile-de-France. how a country or a 
town, adorned with a fair name, more than its neighbours may command 
our confidence, and this fair name to rank among its gifts may claim. 

The forest of Crecy through which proceeds the road that leads me 
to Mortcerf — its name pronounced aloud charms like a fairy flight that 
steals from elfin grots to wheel about a knight who, whelmed by sor- 
row's load, slumbers beside a spring, 'mid blue forget-me-nots. 


A country by its name our senses should delight, or one can never 
come to full intelligence, complete accord. You love, my Francis, Ile- 
de-France. To your name its fair name a joyous troth doth plight, and 
your art and yourself join to its dowry bright. 

How the names Nemours, Senlis, my beating heart beguile ! When I 
murmur them aloud, oh! what pure joy I feel! Senlis, Nemours, why, 
look ... in faith, I almost kneel. Nemours, that's all despair, 
Senlis, that's all smile, lilies, and turtledoves, farewell, dear names of 
song ! I give myself anew, to Mortcerf I belong. 

Morteerf, the sounding horn, all the Fall in fresco set. 

But it is not autumn yet? — Ah, well, 'tis all the same. Come 

staff, I take the road for Mortcerf of fair name. 


At a pace to reawake my dreaming fantasy, I started then, my mind 
for new adventures keen. They say 'tis full of game, the forest of Crecy, 
but only flowers I saw and tunnels through the green — sometimes the 
noiseless shots of a tall service-tree — 'neath vaulting shrubs whose fronds 
as lithe as fairies showed, that the blue breeze which sifts the branches 
and the vines on either side entwines with the whiteness of the road. 

Was I alone? Not I, my Francis. With me went my fair one, pluck- 
ing flowers, the scarlet pimpernel especially, whose bloom adorns my 
dark lapel and always breaks. One culls another. Singing gay one 
takes the road again. Ah, if I could but say that morn how we had 
hearts at ease and minds content ! From naught, from everything, Fran- 
cis, and from the breeze Which, scourging here and there, o'er its green 
empire ranged and from the kisses sweet we in the breeze exchanged. 

The road is straight and white and long will last, 'twould seem. We 
should have liked it well if it had never ended (a thousand years en- 
dured the Sleeping Beauty's dream), if for us to the end of love, of life 
it had extended, or at least till the death of day. to see, beneath the 
bough, a hundred tunnels green for a hundred rays unclose long tombs 
in that grave hour of sunset's burning rose. This thing we did not see. 
How we regret it now I 


What did we see? The squirrel flaunting his tail with glee. The 
nuthatch with sharp beak drilling the linden-tree. Three baby rabbits 
steal from a wave of marguerites. The antlered stag up rear that lordly- 
head of his 'neath silver rays to tear the veil of clematis. Such toad- 
stools as might serve King Oberon for seats. And 'neath acacia, beech 
and birch with silver sheen, hammocks of fern to lull Titania the Queen. 
— Alas, I lie : we saw no trace of all of this. 

From the shady forest verge uprose the scent of mint, crushed by our 
careless feet, so troubling and so strong, that my love with those green 
eyes where blue reflections glint, making pretence to faint, poured all my 
arm along her warm and agile waist, vine that my strife had torn. "A 
pheasant!" I exclaimed when tired with too much pleasure. Pheasant? 
A bare-faced lie. — ". . . Hark to the distant horn. ..." "No, 'tis the 
angelus chiming for noon, my treasure." 

At the prick of noon the road, as at a signal given, turned, supple, and 
became the white neck of a swan, within whose gaping beak a lucent 
sapphire shone, offered, with gesture mild, to the wide azure heaven. In 
the midst of the oval sapphire of the clearing (we had strayed for a 
full hour or more beneath the forest shade) with myriad panes Mortcerf 
through calm air glittered bright, half up a mountainside, all swathed 
in vapours light, where the hot sun of noon its rainbow poured for me. 

For a sapphire, fare thee well, my forest of Crecy I 


Tobaccos, wines, liqueurs, grocery "fancy foods" in sooth, bookshop 
and stationers, arbour and shooting booth, salon for Society, garage of 
the T.C.F., and "Mutuality of the Citizens of Mortcerf" ; inn and restau- 
rant to boot, my luckless "Coin Musard," they rip thine entrails out, 
haphazard empty thee before thine ample sill 'neath the stout, green 
canopy which keeps the amateur who o'er the stock would squint from in 
the noontide frying his precious brains until, a bidder mad, delirious, 
prey to the dog-star Sirius, inopportunely spying a shadowy clock, maybe, 
which makes a single lot with the handle of a pot and the pot's dim 
vacancy, and with the mocking glint of a pint of syrup — crying: "A 
million francs ! Not more. The Devil take the rest ! Sold. ' ' — with his 
laughter's roar he rips his satin vest. Here naught of this you'll see. 
All's ranged in order due. Good cloth is the canopy and Phoebus can't 


bite through. It is municipal, official, honest, laves with freshness magi- 
cal the caps that criiwd in waves, the flood of bonnets white of men and 
maids who wait wili squeaking chalk to write, each on his little slate. 

On Monsieur Albin Dumur the brant of the sale doth weigh. He's 
brisk, bjit I am sure he's sweating blood today. Stout he seems, but to 
light-/ waltz the German waltz his art is (I swear to it, Madame) at 
your;,ov.ening dancing-parties, for round a soup-tureen he lightly waltzes 
ther^" Offered in single lot with nine unshapely spoons, that he agitates 
a^S^lces his thunder, Jupiter. In truth his ministry to humour he at- 
ttfties. ''You there, Blanche Lapine, this shines, eh, what? Some class! 
■f Of silver ? Better still, of purest plate, my lass. — Three spoons 
e g,(ine, you say, Monsieur Petitcornet? In the soup-tureen as well 
•ae lac^s the soupe au lait. Three francs! three francs! three francs 1 
three f raises ten! who bids twenty, eh? — Three francs twenty . . ." Si- 
lence. "What? Have you no more to say?" The mouths are tightly 
closed. One does not care to think of the abyss of doubt whence their 
vexed spirits shrink. "Three francs twenty? — Naught. 'Tis still as 
death. — Monsieur Albin, what characters are these your journal's page 
that span ? Hush ! He is grave : his round visage becomes oblong and — 
toe — to close the sale he strikes upon a gong. 

Gay birds of Paradise, birds tinted like the sl^, above this wave of 
caps for a brief moment fly! Here are the post-girls twain, here's the 
instructress sweet, in hats from Paris! Ah! How lovely! What a 
treat! To the hummingbirds they wear the beadle bows his staff, but 
with a tone ... To Paris, girls, Paris and a half. The fireman 's helmet 
there with more fastidious art is poised with mien gallant o'er an ob- 
servant heart. And they talk, since now the sale halts ere it onward 
goes, of all, of Monsieur Albin, who calmly sniffs a rose. The crowd of 
country-folk is seated and content (for it's Sunday), 'tis polite and 
ripe for merriment. This is agreeable and sets the brain aglow. "It's 
late, and I must say good-bye. Dame Perruchot. I fly. Good-bye." — 
"So soon, sir Pegasus? Won't you wait? Ah, what inconstancy . . . 
to thus forget your slate. . . ." — Inconstant, I? — "Indeed, you're al- 
ways on the wing. Hmm ! don 't we know the nest to which your fancies 
cling?" Monsieur Pegasus, the beadle, can go, on this to muse, going 
with eagle eye he had transfixed a goose. 

Through ten holes of the canopy the sunlight shining fair, presses be- 
tween its bars the assembly prisoned there. Red noses shine. You'd 


think they live. The quiverings of all these nostrils make a noise of 
captive wings, noses like owlet's beak, turkey's wattle, goose's bill, as the 
dimensions grow becoming prouder still, bill of raven, \Tilture, bird of 
the rhinoceros, all fenced in the gold coop of fairy Carabosse. — But 
what aerial nose of those the coop contains, free, soars in graceful flight, 
winged with a pair of panes? Clerk of the beadle-poet, tell me, if 'tis 
your nose, borne by its spectacles toward what fair dream it goes ! . . . 
Then all the sunny bars in one gold flood combine. Vague, trembling, 
and confused, a gentle glow it jnelds, mixed with the charming rose, 
friend yonder of the fields, which, circling earth, becomes the sunset's 
vermeil shine. "Blow j'our nose there! make haste! speak! I have 
brooms, I say, from your thousand palaces to brush the dirt away." 
A scarlet handkerchief to every nose is brought, and long they trumpet 
there, immersed in pensive thought. 

My God, I do not know just how the thing occurred. She must have 
simply set her casement-window -wide. But she is very pure and, all the 
din unheard, she reads above the sale, like some white saint enslded. 
I do not know her : 'Tis a young girl ; by that curl of jet I know her now, 
it is the true young girl ... In the house across the way, yonder, I see 
her turn the page where marching kings in jewelled beauty burn. Her 
room, in darkened wood bright gildings underline, with an aureole 
obscure surrounds her profile still. She's fair, entrancingly — indeed, 
perhaps too fine — propped on her elbow there o'er the red wdndow-sill. 
Lord ! Is she double ? Ah ! her brow, naught may surpass, is mirrowed 
now nearby in this oval looking-glass. . . . No, 'tis my eyes that twice 
the vision pure present, so deeply am I moved, so much am I content! 
Duslrr, caressing locks her rosy cheeks enfold, and her white fingers, laid 
against her cheek. Alas! but nothing human now disturbs her wisdom 
cold. The page turns. All in gold a sti-utting prince doth pass. Ah me, 
how much I yearn to wave a handkerchief, colour of da^vn and gold, 
which from my hope I weave. Ah, let her but look do^^^l from her 
window high above to meet these gazing eyes that overflow with love. 
Aie! My foot is crushed. Ah, well, o'er my acts I have no power. I 
leave you here, Margot ! My heart ' ' mounts to the tower. ' ' 

Naught further, window closed. — Apollo, for my pains, a fiery tongue 
protrudes in the blank window-panes. ]\Iy heart returns to me, dis- 
hevelled. Fatal blow! "Margot . . . give me thy hand. Where art 
thou then, Margot?" I swoon on all the goods that before me they 
expose. (In a huff Margot has gone, with cause enough, God knows.) 


Fragility of man! and of the oval glass, which mirrored even now my 
bright divinity. 'Tis smashed to atoms small. Destroyed for aye, alas! 
Ah! all is dust. . . . Not so, upon a table, see. Monsieur Albin doth 
arise. "I'll pay! You shall not lose."— "Pay then."— "The price 
will be, how much?" — "A hundred sous." — "Only a hundred sous?" 
The bargain soon is sped. All its beaks the poultry-house has raised 
above my head. "No more than a hundred sous?" — " 'Tis the price of 
the lot entire." — "Eh, what did you say?" — "I said, good sir, the lot 
entire." Ophelia of the glass, pale saint unknown to me, thy Hamlet 
turns again in his dark panoply. Sigh, my heart ! What things one may 
from ' ' the lot entire ' ' derive, an ornamental broom and egg-cups thirty- 
five. — Stop there ! Margot being gone, I seem to hear you say, how did 
you manage then to take all these away? — Be seated, sceptic throng, 
readers and readeresses. Here we are not concerned with clocks or 
oaken presses. Hark, with a flaxen thread, a tether strong but slight, I 
strung the egg-cups all, that bevy chastely white. Necklace on neck, 
and broom on shoulder, proud of soul, forth from the sale I went — as 
rigid as a pole. 

Extracts from NEMOURS. 


Upon the Paris side, but towards Nemours the white, in the boughs a 
bullfinch sang 'neath morning's silvery light. 

Upon the Orleans side, flown towards Nemours, the sweet lark at the 
heart of day carolled above the wheat. 

Upon the Flanders side in twilight's golden ray, the magpie far from 
Nemours his hoard hath hidden away. 

Towards Russia and Germany, cawing, this eventide the troop of car- 
rion-crows quitted the countryside. 

But in my garden-close, by Nemours protected well, through all the 
starry night has chanted Philomel I 


Extract from VELIZY. 


All's silent, save a murmuring. This evening, standing in the wheat, 
I hear all Nature hearkening. What hour is this that flies so fleet ? . . . 
All's silent, save this murmuring. 

What hour from the far belfry comes in the hollow of my hand to die, 
against my ears' attentive drums? or living in my heart doth vie with 
its beatings, dreamily? 

The earth is a cathedral gray. The host of the moon is lifted there. 
The wheat doth murmur an ave that, to the belfry, breezes bear, moved 
and large and flown away, 

and all the wheat is bowed in prayer. 


To the sad wind of the woods, something the night doth croon 

"Ask her on what she broods in the stream, the rosy moon." 

"In the stream where swims a rose, a rush to drink doth stoop." 

Ophelia's cheek doth droop towards the reflected rose of her arm in 
waters deep, and all Ophelia goes . . . 

What has she said, the moon, to the sad wind of the woods? 

"A rush? 'Tis slie, poor mime, who culls eternal dream." 


— My master dear, my king, dost thou know how much they love, my 
breast, these arms that cling, these violet eyes above? 


]\Iy mouth tells to the wind what to thee it dares not tell. Thou hast 
taken me to laugh, and to weep and groan as well. 

— O queen of lineage high, no more content, impart to the wind that is 
not I, for the wind torments its heart, 

the quest at time that mocks. And all the tale betray to my grey tow- 
ers' weathercocks where the wind pipes all day! 


Hamlet, whom the cracked brains of others importune, has made thff 
tour of the world ; but it avails him naught. He still sees Elsinore be- 
neath the waning moon. 

Hamlet has made the tour of the world, as he does all, in thought. 

His shadow on the wall that doth towards Rome incline, he hears the 
nightingale, clear warbler, passion-fraught. Imperial Caesar's ash be- 
tween the stones doth shine. 

Hamlet has made the tour of the world, as he does all, in thought. 

Three times has Hamlet made the tour of his chateau. And this then 
is the world ! And Yorick is the moon ? Yorick's skull ? In what a coil 
of madness he is caught ! 

Hamlet has made the tour of the world, as he does all, in thought. 

Beneath the oblong tower that dusks the esplanade, a father's phantom 
pale begins his promenade. Why, what a narrow world ! ' ' Sire, would 
you wandering fare? 

Thrice I've made the tour of the world, and was sure I'd meet you 


Cypress, geraniums, bleak hedge of my parterre, from the chase I 
come once more, with grief that sharper gnaws. 'Tis still in my black 
park the entrance sinister, when evening o'er the world its golden mantle 


still the entry of a brother that has his brother slain. And 'tis my 
dame, the Queen, who is the cause of all. To the high tower we mount 
and gaze upon the main, to dreadful torpor stilled, a sea of pitch and 

From his barque Prince Hamlet leaps. Home from the jousts he 
fares. Is he mad? How red he is! He's sweating, this dear child! 
Alas! Go sound his heart, sweet Gertrude, mother mild, while We to 
hide Ourselves descend six hundred stairs. 

At each loophole's chink the sun a lowlier beam doth show. 'Tis the 
hour when in the vaults one sees the rising moon in the eyes of monstrous 
rats. But, tender mother, go to dry Our noble son lest he contract a 

This evening he shall see this tranquil face of mine (he loves such 
games) along the lighted passage wend, that in his room is lost — the 
pathway to the end. Madame, you need not fear. I shall have drunk 
the wine. 


I, brave Prince Fortinbras, who close this tragic pother, enter to say 
my phrase. Brief is my role and slight. I march upon the son, having 
o'erleapt the mother. Emotion's at the full and horror at its height. 

I come with trump of gold to terminate the play. Alone, for that vast 
horde, my army, comes not. Bah! What Would you? In the gloom of 
the flies they lose their way, and wander in the wings. At last ! Tara- 

My blue cloak, since it drags, with blood is doubtless weighed. The 
curtain a quick veil to my useful phrase affords, hiding the stalwart 
fists of my army that I aid, I, brave Prince Fortinbras, to haul upon 
the cords. 

Elsinore doth reappear. stoutly tug the strings I And at my side 
Shakespeare is pulling in the wings. 



The little horse 'mid winter's height, ah, what a gallant heart he 
bore 1 He was a little pony white, all behind and he before. 

He never saw the Spring arise to gild the dreary landscape o'er* 
He never saw the sunny skies, either behind or before. 

He was contented, evermore, drawing the lads of the neighbourhood 
through the rain's unceasing pour, all behind and he before. 

His little cart behind him went, chasing the jaunty tail he wore. It! 
was then he was content, all behind and he before. 

But one day, beneath the winter's blight, one day when he had been 
so good, he died of a stroke of lightning white, all behind and he before. 

He is dead without seeing the Spring arise. Ah, what a gallant heart 
he bore! He is dead without seeing the sunny skies either behind or 





When in forest depths I hear the mourning of the mere, red with the 
eve that fades, 

with piercing rushes full rising above the pool, like a heart transfixed 
with blades, 


I say : ah ! who would come far from his native home, seduced by love's 
false dream, 

who could with heart unbowed enter this gloomy wood without a pain 
extreme ? 

Yet someone's drawing near. 'Neath the alder-grove I hear a man in 
the shadows trail 

dolorous tani, towards thee ! He is in extremity, phantom rancourless 
and pale. 

Call, pool of forests dim, pool where the wild ducks swim, man and 
night come tardily 

toward thy surface so morose where the tawny pinion glows of the 
sunset slow to die . . . 

The stag bellows wearily, and suddenly doth flee, a dog howls in the 
distant plain. 

The owl, in the underwood, shivers, eyes closed, and toward the rising 
moon doth sigh. 

Welcome, dolorous pool, this being sorrowful who comes to drown 
his pain 

nor could with careless mien enter this gloomy wood were he not in 
woe supreme, 

did not Death his soul invite, through melancholy's blight, to forsake 
this world . . . 'tis I. 


No, I did not dare — but find no excuses, for my mind the poet in mo 
impeaches — 

I did not dare to die in the pool that shows the sky on fire beneath the 


when I saw before me rise, to tlie zephyr's dolorous moan, the hypo- 
crite -wdth downcast eyes, 

the ghoul with velvet arm (one hand on my heart, and one pressed 
to my brow) — the Terror 

who, directing my scrutiny, this evening showed to me Hell, painted 
on that mirror, 

and there, in yonder glade, beneath the oak's dim shade, crawling 
running, all astir, 

the Phantoms of my soul, lone or in chains they were, on the far side 
of the pool. 

A glade? The cavernous rim, the dire, sepulchral sill, of Hell which 
cumbers, grim, 

The Tree of Good and 111, kindled suddenly, whence rises the sput- 
tering dew in smoke, 

on whose trunk, in that red light, Moses, upright, bent, upright, breaks 
the Tables of the Law; 

the Tree round which Virgil bears, bowed low beneath his yoke, 
Aeneas, who bears Anchises 

beneath the breath and brow of the Bard, that blinded roamer who 
sang of Troy, old Homer, 

eyes like cherries burst, dread ghost who towards his treasure fares, 
illumined motes disposed 

where the thunder flares and peals. Like a pet dOg at his heels comes 
stoop-shouldered Dante, struck 

by the whips, that hate doth impel, of his heroes who scourge him 
well, and 'tis the merest luck 

if by a leap he can surmount the delirious group of Cervantes and 


who 'neath the fetters stoop of Othello, Sancho Pauza, Don Quixote 
and King Lear. 

Toward the steaming tarn he races o'er whose depths there swim the 
faces of Milton and Lucifer, 

where Baudelaire, rowed thereon by his cold Don Juan, in flames doth 

before the shallop fair upon which comes Moliere to fall, a statue of 

and that 's all : the barque goes down. Remaineth gloom alone and at 
my side the Terror 

who, brusquely, by his pallor, forth from the forest wild chases me like 
a child. 


I yearn with the weariness of my life, laid waste and lost in the woods 
the zephyr sways. 

I yearn with the dreariness of my undirected days in the tufted for- 
est's shade. 

There to groan in my happiness, there I feel that I am lost. All is 
tuned to my weariness. 

I say it. Joy doth brood for me in the tufted wood that by no path 
is crossed. 


I alone, the Heavens decide, gain full felicity. Pray whither shall I 
flee my happiness to hide? 

How fly the crooked thorn that, with malicious spine, is loth to free, 
untorn, this happy heart of mine? 


I bear, o'er the blasted heath where Joy doth wings supply, I bear 
along with my great happiness, to Death 

my iron laughter, rattle that undismayed doth roll, of deathless joys 
the chattel ; my body and my soul. 

Quickly the goal I 'd reach, softly descend the breeze. My laughter I 
would teach to the Eumenides. 

I am happy! I alone this gift from Fate could wring because my 
lyre has known how to sing everything. 

Extracts from 


Rest in the wood, my soul, on the past no longer brood, on that van- 
ished bitterness, soul in lassitude, but the honeysuckle part, your 
wrinkled joys unfurl. The country is more sweet than is a changing 

In the forest of I'Hautil, my soul, your strength recall. 'Tis a most 
shady wood, quite young and very small, crowning a towering hill, re- 
mote in ether pale, which o'er the Oise and Seine doth dominate the 

Fin-d 'Oise one sees from here, its swaying barques afloat on clear water, 
and Triel that gently lulls my thought: of a belfry of Triel the voice to 
me is borne, its belfry rose-enwreathed that bathes in golden com. 

My woes of those black days in Paris, where are they? Yonder two 
trains rush past, a pair of swallows gay. One sees where, drunkenly, from 
Chantcloupe there climbs the path the vintners trace to Tir among the 

which, hospitable sight, is with a bench endowed, as green as sprout- 
ing hope, whose gestures bid me gain this realm, ascend the throne, god 
V of the vintners proud. Rejoice, rejoice, my soul, one sees Pissefon- 
taine . . . 



Here, where are grouped Fin-d'Oise, Maureeourt, Andresy, Conflans- 
Sainte-Honorine — what mellow names are thejM pasan of chiming bells 
for a wedding one would say ... poesy, poesy, poesj' ! . . . 

here, under the blue eyes of these four villages, the radiant Seine 
made one with the lovely Oise one sees. Good. Mount upon the bridge 
that rocks suspended there. Embrace your well-beloved, and now gaze 

Feminine is the Oise and masculine the Seine. My e3*es are witnesses, 
besides the proof is plain that for their journeying o'er many a green- 
sward wide the Seine presents his ann to his too-youthful bride. 

vaporous marriage seen from the bridge suspended there, for all 
an amorous hour beneath my eyes I had this vision, you appeared one of 
those nuptials glad where 'neath a single veil unite the happy pair, 

the bridal veil, olie! Still better. At the call of the image, on I run 
with fancy uncontrolled. I saw them, 'neath the palms of poplars bright 
with gold, rush to embrace as 'twere Virginia and her Paul. 

Paul and Virginia wed? Indeed, I tell you true. One bore a cap 
bedecked with a French flag (I attest that so it seemed to me that peace- 
ful barge at rest ) , t 'other a chain of ships, scintillant with the dew. 

How pure they were ! ... No doubt before this wooing sweet the Oise 
had some affairs, the Seine at times did 8tra^^ 'Tis no concern of mine. 
Friends, I 've a mind discreet. Besides what man would mar the raptures 
of this day ! 

The rattle of a helm turns yonder. Ah, it is a pretty toy, in sooth, 
the future babe to dower, the heir who will arrive honourably in his 
hour. He shall be called the Eure, born 'mid the cabbages. 

A joyful wedding-dance the rout around you draws, Seine, lordly male, 
and you, little gosling, little Oise, the banks, the hills, the vines amid the 
vaporous air dance, and upon my arm dances my sweetheart fair. 


Taratata! And now, to the trumpet's martial blare, to leap into the 
barques the wedding-guests prepare. Let all these joyous scamps be 
piloted by me. Charming couple, you must run to met your destiny. 

"0 joy! Then we must run! — Ocean your Fate will be. — Then we 
must run, alas? — And it is death, the sea. — Sombre reflection. — No. At 
one end you will die . . . at the other even now the marriage draweth 

And I should like to know how — lovers ever fond — in the multitude 
of streams that mingle in the sky, you can again retrieve your droplets 
blue and blonde, to go and hide yourselves in Earth's profundity, 

and rise and join again where all delights the eye — here, where are 
grouped Fin-d'Oise, Maurecourt, Andresy, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine — 
What mellow names are they ! paean of chiming bells for a wedding one 
would say . . . 

poesy, poesy, poesy! . . . 


Muses, I dub myself, despite each rival claim, with haughty heraldry. 
King of Pissefontaine. — Count if you choose, but king is not too much, I 
hold. — With lance in rest I charge all the pretenders bold who hie them 
hither armed though but with stoups of ale, across the fields and vines 
my title to assail. 

Who more than I to sing this village would desire, lover of mornings 
clear, perched high above them all, where twenty lusty cocks, for lack 
of village spire, from the roofs, to the countryside the first good-morrow 
call? Who passes happy days in the free atmosphere to see it on its 
rock in equipoise appear, to count the houses fair that o'er the bushes 
spring like herds of little goats buoyantly gambolling? 

'Tis I. Is it not I? — more proofs? you're still in doubt? come, drink, 
and suffer me, drinking, to search them out — who, then, descends superb 
in dawning 's golden shrine, his graceful calf caressed by tendrils of the 
vine, his flowing cloak bedecked with drops of crystal dew, towards the 
castle of my choice, this jolly tavern blue, and, glass in hand, without, 
fearing no whit the prod of horns, to sleeping husbands doth sing this 


gay aubade (for a brief instant brushed by kisses circumspect since for 
eye alone the right of jamhage do I exact), then in a rocking-chair 
plunged like a goodly king — this throne a Briton left to pay his reckon- 
ing — with rapture o'er the square the slender limes doth view, quivering 
in the ^^^nd as they are wont to do, while in the hollow roads my subject 
marmots go far as Triel to roll the casks of picolo — letting my wits, still 
sharp, suit to the cadence gay of their stentorian tread the rhythm of 
my lay? 


Proud yearning of the wind above the forest deeps, of a wind that 
vivifies each barrier that it leaps, perfumed wth grain that 'neath its 
rule is bended low, prompted me all at once to leave this world and go 
to heaven, among the leaves down far-off vistas lost. Already, both my 
arms, 'gainst hoary trunks uptossed, I crucified, all nij-self to the tem- 
pest did resign, to Boreas whose pale arms like smoothest marble shine, 
to let myself depart with all the little trees — But before me dropped the 
leaves. 'Twas dead calm. Not a breeze. Reclining at my feet mysteri- 
ous herbage spread, softly. No single flower was missing from its place, 
and I seemed in woods serene to hear great Pan who said : "Behold, it is 
Paul Fort, the god of sunny days." Then, as my long, draped arms, too 
widely stretched, once more became my body's sheath, at that veiy in- 
stant, lo, I felt a pair of horns from out my forehead gi'ow. 


The chirping frog his joy betrays. It rains upon the Seine and Oise. 
followers of Saint Nicaise, born at Triel, hard by Pontoise, 

Saint Egobille and good Saint Mille, now intercede with God, I pray, 
that he from heaven may clear away these clouds, the hue of camomile. 

Culling strawberries, one gets a chill, picking raspberries, one is 
numbed, I find. — If this should last my chair too well will know the 
weight of my behind. 

Saint Mille and good Saint ifigobille, both natives of Triel, appeal to 
God! Without this aid of yours my family must stay indoors. 



A lull! — Then quick, the moment cull! Take full advantage of that 
lull ! Snails shine on every side of me. figobille and Mille — merci. 


In a pool it is reflected fair, where all the frogs to sing are fain, where 
the moonlight drinks, and where clouds descend to weep their rain. 

'Tis a small, abandoned church, that has no cross, no bell, no coloured 
glass. Saints, Virgin, altar — where are they ? No soul doth hither come 
to pray. 

The grass-blades form its flock devout and the stock, that from the 
fissured wall and ruined window peereth out with shiverings continual. 

Scarce seen when on the road you pass, still through the bay one may 
descry, o'er the heap that once its altar was, the stainless azure of its 

Beneath a willow's wan regret, 'tis the swallow's mournful friend. 
Within its heart uncounted spiders spin webs that with crystal pearls 
are wet. 

'Tis a sweet, small church that holds in fee all treasures on the earth 
arrayed: dim silence, steadfast poverty, shade, and the chastity of 

All treasures? alas, my God, there lies dead in its crypt illusion pale, 
despite its roof that toward the skies uplifts a swaying birch-tree frail. 

Like two hands locked in ardent prayer o'er palms Our Saviour sanc- 
tifies, the two halves of the roof arise : 'tis an abandoned chapel bare, 

that shakes through all its ivy-leaves, door open to the stranger's 
tread. The night of stars it there receives; 'tis the cabin of the shep- 

and 'tis my refuge . . . There I find asylum in my sadness deep. And 
often it has seen me weep — why ? for no cause, to ease my mind 


my temples couched upon the stones, brows that the stock hath coifed 
anew (it even takes for orisons the sobbing that my grief betrays) , 

by day when I have naught to do, at midnight when I bay the fays. 

Extracts from the 



"Sing, I tell the Italian: bring your barrel-organ. Sing." — To his 
organ he chanted. Ah, 

the wretch, he yesterday so wiled my soul away. mandoli-mandola! 

The ocean, ta"wny and rose, tonight, a nonchalant rose, beats the em- 
bankment wall, 

and I let from my thoughts depart my fair singer or (my heart being 
not so prodigal) 

I dream him . . . But he: "Signor, if I sing you must not pore on 
yourself, the sea, this place 

of shining sand : my voice without me is empty noise. Scrutinize well 
my face." 


Lusignan, les Baux, Coucy, white towers in winter's fee, and autumn's 
king, Saint-Cloud, 

where shrewd the wind doth blow, mocked by the whirling snow, is 
it not sad for you ? 

This lake that the reeds enslave, how its shivering wave annuls the 
desolate sheen 


of Lusignan's chateau that coldly gleams below in the baths of Melu- 

This hold on the hillside low, stiffly reared les Baux, gapes to all the 
tempests chill 

that 'er its hearth-stones rage. It complains, and perhaps with age its 
crumbling stones are ill. 

The five towers of my Coucy (I also speak to thee), what art thou 
'neath the silver stain 

of the hoar frost? five white owls that shiver beneath the cowls of a 
foliage wet with rain? 

My friends, this way repair ; direct your glances there ; remark it well, 
'tis Saint-Cloud. 

Since one December fell, ah! piteous to tell! there's nothing left to 

Lusignan, les Baux, Coucy, white toWers in winter's fee, (and Saint- 
Cloud no longer there) 

is it not bitter pain life's semblance to retain when death is in the air? 



Followed by 




Cceiir tendre mats affranclii du serment. 

Paul Verlaine. 


{First pages.) 


I felt a limit should be set to these joys that rouse such envious strife 
and in the arms of Margaret I had resolved to end my life. 

Therefore I said to life, **My dream, thus I would have you close. 
You seem like a recital that extends beyond its wonted time, and ends, 

ends in a murmuring, alas I where the white bed doth vigil keep, 
whither, with drooping head, doth pass the speaker almost fast asleep. ' ' 


*'No," says my love, my faithful friend (what new dawn in thy soul 
doth gleam?), "it is not finished yet, your dream, not yet doth your re- 
cital end." 

I heard, "A free release I give from my arms, dear soul in discontent," 
then wakened, still a prisoner, pent by all this life I yet must live 1 


"From this life of love devoid of blame." — 1 heard — and with heart 
that could not break sighed toward the hearth: "Extinguished flame," 
but straightway found myself awake. 


Did I against my will obey? Yes, I wish to live in joy profound,! 
chase the daybreak where the chime doth sound — a kick for the hearth- 
stone's ashes grey, 

quite dead: let us run, life glad and feigned! — The heavens with 
purest rose are stained, the fields an azure dew doth hide. I go, so get 
you gone, my dear. 

The hedge — the road — ^the world so wide. Even as the day my sight 
is clear! . . . (this bourne alone is manifest where, 'neath a poplar's 
shade, I rest). 


No image through my tears doth pass — ^tears both of gladness and 
distress — save of my grief and happiness, a pebble dark, a pebble white. 

Two pebbles on the road displayed for my shadow two bright eyes 
have made. Hark, frenzied soul that doubts, my shade squints in a! 
fashion to affright. 

The swallow high in heaven doth fly. Piercing the azure comes his 
cry. I 've time enough to scan the sky, all day it will be fair and bright. 


Here, by this roadside pastoral, with clasping hands to crown my 
knees, seated must I in thought recall all of our secret miseries ? 

Smiling as gentle zephyrs toy with my long hair, my mustaches, pray] 
can I not gain the air of joy while I regard my shadow grey? 

Freedom from love have I not found, who down the distant road doth 
press and gives no sign of turning round? . . . Yes. Then am I con- 
tented? Yes. 



Swallows, behold my joy and pride! Towards you I raise this face 
of mine, and towards thy zenith's silver shine, sweet heaven! I feau 
the countryside 

as I fear the past. Let us agree to theorise upon the themes of time 
to come, eternity, eyes still directed toward our dreams. 

Alas ! to seek for naked truth and only images surprise, heaven, that 
on thy silver roof spring from the tears that cloud my eyes. 


Face worn with many a scarlet stream whereon the eyes of angels 
dream, suffusing red doth swift o'errun this gulf that feels thy breath, 

Behold the brazier of the dawn that in my eyes doth lose its sigh : in 
vapour all my tears have gone, pink mist to merge with flaming 8k5\ 

Let us drop our kindled glance to where Nature, all fresh and green, 
doth shine, to meet the contemplative stare, the fresh regard of browsing 


Mornings of Spring, their candid light! — Formerly when I was a 
child, I oft caressed the freshness mild of the dawn upon my curtains 

The door swings wide. freshness sweet, stir of my mother's snowy 
feet, when, all dawn, I gave myself, elate, to her kisses, fresh and 

The window gaped. Joy undefiled ! I uttered cries of ecstacy. One 
cannot always be a child nor evermore a poet be. 


Alas ! and as today, indeed, I saw the nonchalant, gi'azing herd drink 
the Spring grasses lightly stirred on the blue crystal of the mead. 


Trembling with joy and young desire while to those kisses fond I 
turned eyes where love 's fires but newly burned, — houp ! I removed my 
night attire. 

Nor did my dressing hold me long. I yearned with instant speed to 
fly to the curlew's call, the swallow's song, cravated like a butterfly. 


Today I fear the past, uncouth mirages that the fields deform, my 
shadow tinted like the storm, and all the fancies of my youth. 

Once as I chased the curlew grey I fell in the pond. Three months I 
lay in bed and deemed it azure sky, where Mother crooned a lullaby. 

Another day with joy aglow. . . . "Why does this memory rise and 
blast its fairness, God? I do not know. But I believe I fear the past. 


Ah, then I "wished to die, to search bright Paradise the first of all . . ^ 
Softly the pealing bell did call to the painted heavens that decked the 
church . . . 

With the help of God, on His breast to be. His loved one, that fierce 
angel shy who beats his pinions jealously when other angels come too 
nigh ! 

Hosannah! In my fancy wild these arms to beat the skies did seem 
. . . One cannot always be a child, and who can realise his dream? 


And here I am. (God can testify in youth how proud a lad was I.) 
Here I am to mourn a vanished day. — "What is that dust-cloud far 

away ? ' ' 

Heart, jealous, fervent, quick to trust, what art thou now? This 
wretched stone ! And with my soul what have I done? — "Who's coming 
yonder in the dust?" 


Your heads the hurricane has bowed, flowers of my sensibility. "At 
present I can plainly see the gypsies come in motley crowd. 


"They'll soon be here." — To the senses, heart, thou didst resign thy 
sovereignty. And thou, my soul, the dwelling art of that cold demon, 

Fervour ecstacy, fair childhood's dower, into what limbo were you 
cast? Why do I still invoke your power since I am frightened by the 

Before me my remorses pour slowly, in rain that does not tire, black 
demons sparks have frosted o'er, which, as they take their form, take 


0, how thy dust is dark and drear, staining with blackness all the 
plain, grimy road! Ah me, to see again the peasant's golden sunlight 

Here's the whole horde of mountebanks. Whips crack. The dust in 
tumult flees. The horses, heaving wiry flanks, drag the complaining 

Great oaths of energetic heads. Clumping shoes. The stir a trumpet 
spreads. And gypsy faces dark with tan smile at the windows of the 


How my regard, at war with fate, you whose hands the osiers plait, 
the magic eyes of one doth note who from her car with tuneful throat 

ehanteth of love's inhuman thrall, to the guzla, thrummed in minor 
key by a handsome, lithe romanichal on a little horse from Hungary. 

Seeking adventure, courting strife, I followed them at twelve years 
old — singing my tira-lira bold — no matter where, afar, through life ! 



"Why could I not remain at home, a faithful child with parents fond? 
why must I strive to pass beyond the loving age of Hop-o '-My-Thumb ? 

He scattered pebbles, to be sure, wishing his home once more to see, 
escaping from the wood obscure. 'Tis the obscure that tempted me. 

The child becomes the youth, and soon the youth is the young man, 
who is first man, then slippered pantaloon. How, prithee, will you alter 


Love? Bah I It has so often been born, in so many lives, and then so 
often vanished from our ken, the heart has lost its rights therein. 

"Dear, precious pet! A prodigy 1 Sweetest of babes! Perfection 
rare 1 Take but a step, you 're in the snare : all 's an enigma instantly. ' ' 

Nature's profound and secret lure, all that my school-books did not 
say, all that remained to me obscure, combined to make me run away. 


My stricken mother wept at home. My father raised the garrison. I 
was caught before three days had passed and the gypsy chief in jail 
was cast. 

My drum, gold, white, and blue (a deft red clown its lore had taught 
to me, caustic, compassionate), was left at the threshold of their hos- 

And despite this flattering drum, that went rocking above my heart 
content, in that three days' sojourn I can say that I sinned three hundred 
sins a day. 


To whom do I speak? To the winds that pass? To the cows that 
drink the pearly grass? Alone I tell it as before, my shadow as sole 


My ear between harsh fingers (ah! more than three hundred times a 
day) home I was haled, to my mamma, who, in her love, half -swooning 

"College," my father said, "and soon!" — "Hangman!" my mother 
cried, aswoon. And I thought, my heart with grief asmother, my father 
did not love my mother. 


Dark seer o'er tedium's woes that reigns, friend of the streams that 
lash the panes, of winds that autumn's anger show, of water's sad and 
sombre flow 

o'er the highway's dark declivities, where, like a rat, the evening flees, 
how this ingrate heart was praised by thee, black wizard of my destiny. 

Two months emprisoned in my room each with the other did com- 
mune. In vain you strove the hope to tame of a heart already made 
for fame. 


No, all thine arts could ne'er have tamed a heart for high adventure 
framed. Ennui, I drove thee forth to reign far from the crystal win- 

I opened to the beaming sun. — ' ' Still fresh I hold in memoiy, Mother, 
the day you gave to me a 'Childhood of Napoleon.' " 

"Mother, all day its leaves I turned! against my trembling knees it 
burned . . . "What gift was this, Mother mild? . . . Till then I was 
a little child." 


A boy morose, young men among, knowing too well what he would be, 
he did not play with anyone when all Brienne was plunged in glee 


but in the playground's shade remote wandered, with grave, sleep- 
walking eyes, like the pale, muttering idiot who in the twilight prophe- 

And then at last I understood why boyish games I would forswear, 
seeking, instead, the gloomy wood to prophesy a little there. 


October — and the day malign when I must quit my prison-cell, my 
chamber white, the house as well, God! and my birth's horizon-line. 

I wept so much! But all I won from a father worshipped, none the 
less, was this walk through morning's loveliness of a mother and her 
little son. 

In her hand she, too, wept bitterly like a child that's overwhelmed 
with sorrow. *'I cannot see him go from me today ... I cannot . . . 
Ah! tomorrow! ..." 


The poplars of our meadows fair, bent to the wind of heaven, their 
fate bemoaning, seemed with mournful air to say: "Call us unfoi'tu- 
nate. ' ' 

The bleating she-goat at her stake, 'neath trailing clouds o'er heaven 
that streamed, pulling upon her tether seemed to say: ''Call me unfortu- 
nate, ' ' 

the clouds: "Unfortunate we are, we who in tatters skim the sky," and 
Mother, with her heart at war, said: "How unfortunate am I !" 


How prophet-like do I appear! Sleet falls . . . Farewell to sunny 
days . . . Dreamer with no umbrella near, the collar of your coat up- 


—Though such a rain as in the Last Judgment will fall our forms 
harassed, I wept no more. With courage hold, alas! my mother I con- 

Then, to the house returning slow, college my fancy dwelt upon, and 
in the mingled rain and snow, I dreamed of young Napoleon. 

Extracts from IN GATINAIS. 


Green Gatinais, 'neath whose shade the li\'ing waters shine, where 
gleams the thunderbolt in that confined sea, the canal that Avith its stroke 
the storm doth underline, if I have made so bold as to sing thee, par- 
don me. 

Not my portion of the world? Thou becomest it, art it now. I re- 
gard thee, understand thy soul, and sing of thee. Let him be who wills, 
I am of no one land, I trow. Since when has Ile-de-France paid me a 
salary ? 

And Champagne and this Kemois of my nativity, where of crafty 
Louis Eleventh I have paraded long the mare, and the ample, fresh 
expanse of Normandy, have they been more prodigal ? If you fancy so, 
you're wrong. 

And the land where I was a sailor, the coast of Brittany (gravely and 
fervently in song I praised its scenes), the smallest obulus has never 
voted me. All the silver I saw there shone on the sides of its sardines. 

From Perigord, in turn, what profit did I draw? — Truffles? Not every 
day. Santonge and Angoumois, (how fair they were, those days of 
France, youthful I of vacations long ago) what funds did they 

Turning to foreign lands, what has my verdict been? Stout Belgium 
— Gallic blood its pulses doth attune: in truth I like thee well, stub- 


born race "Walloon — has not marketed my wares for all its store of 

Has thrifty Holland e 'er tinsewed for me at all the plump heel of her 
sock with golden ecus full? From Italy, where I saw such treasures, 
did I gain more than the burning vow to view them once again 1 

And what vantage have I gained from those lands of faery, those 
countries of a dream my pen doth importune? — the Mountain, whose 
domain was wholly made by me, Olympus, Paradise, ah, and the moon, 

the moon? . . . 

Tenderly to these lands I vowed my singer's art, their grace, austerity, 
or languor to express, nor asked reward, but sang to guard the happi- 
ness wherewith each man well-born doth satisfy his heart. 

I hear this throbbing heart, spiritual and pure, wherein its mirrored 
self all Nature doth adore, and that I have, my friends, nor ever will 
abjure to basely compromise with silver I abhor. 

Land of grasses and of streams, green Gatinais, receive my homage. 
Thee I sing, nor look for any wage, whereof the golden wave of the 
canal, this eve, mirrors the moon that melts above thy foliage. 


Bee, that the thyme doth sing, how clear thy hum doth ring in the 
hollow of mine ear ! 

Bee, down the distance borne, no longer sounds thy horn, thy song 
I do not hear. 

Three seconds ere the noon, life in its course doth swoon. It is the hour 
of heaven. 

For the standing harvest even, the finch at the rose's marge, on the 
canal, a barge. 

For the suckling lamb as well : at the white throat of the ewe tinkles 
no more the bell. 


Two seconds ere the noon, life in its course doth swoon. It is the hour 
of heaven. 

Bee, that yonder sang, thy horn to my ear no more is borne. Thy 
song I do not hear. 

Cat, padded paw in air, for what are j^ou waiting there ? For a far- 
off chiming clear? 

Dragon-flies above the stream, the sunlight's aureate dream you to the 
reeds have given. 

One second ere the noon, life in its course doth swoon. It is the hour 
of heaven. 

Dew, dew, thy thought disclose. It plunges to the riven heart of a 
thought morose. 

My heart, where is the past? It is the hour of heaven. Thither no 
fancies cast. 

Bee, down the distance borne, no longer sounds thy horn, thy song 
I do not hear. 

On the belfry's an angel white. There a second takes his flight; 
Ten others are hidden near. 

At Nargis twelve strokes resound. Life again resumes its round. 
Balms distill from the lilies clear. 

Bee, that the thyme doth sing, how dear thy hum doth ring in the 
hollow of mine ear! 




Followed by 




justly made divine, unclose thy hands, sweet Dawn, those fingers 
flushed with rose — but keep thy mittens on: caress the rime of morn 
o'er glittering roofs. The cold bites? Ah! This instant born my Aurora 
pale behold. 

No more than it does me. But I blow, my sweetheart fair, on my 
fingers. Hot ! hot ! hot ! — What sovereign joy is there I A tomtit on the 
mill of the sleeping town doth sing as through its streets I pass in lonely 

Rays of the dawning day, freshness ineffable of this morning, and I 
go, furtive, to find the key of a city by repute the happiest of all and 
like Aurora blessed in its calm destiny. 

To the tomtit 's lisping strain no emulous voice replies. Hushed is the! 
nightingale. The cock has sung his psalm. Do you plan to give the 
town, God of paradise, served on a silver tray to the angel proved 
most calm? 

There is indeed — I hark — the murmur crystalline of a fountain, two, 
no, three. (And this one's silver sheen reflects a candid brow, the brow 
of Jean Racine.) Of that sound is this a part? (Do these verses bear 
the sign 

♦ La Ferte-Milon. 


of that speaker eloquent of falsehoods most divine? "Water flows, the 
verses sing and fade, 'tis all a dream.) O calm Ferte-Milon, naught has 
your silence broken save the tomtit, and no doubt for angels I have 

Of the mill upon the Ourcq the parget white doth sway. A supple 
bridge doth cross canal and rushing stream in two bounds — but with no 
noise — like those lithe tomcats gray that in silver gutters leap, watched 
by the lunar beam. 

And truly ! there remains above the town displayed a slender crescent 
moon that Dawn, distraught, doth crave. Alas! she wounds her hands 
against the siclde's blade, and sanguine roses fall to daub the golden 

The sparks that blue and rose and gold and crimson burn, silver and 
grey, those sparks that in this vei^e return : so sweetly they have come 
within my eyes to play, to sleep there, there to dream of life that lasts 
for aye ! 

Let us softly leap the stream for all is lulled to rest. The street of La 
Chaussee, the town's main street, I find, like silent desert sands in rosy 
whiteness dressed, seems to have quite forgot the shadows of mankind. 

But IVe no shadow ... ah! 'tis there, but light as down. Like a 
faint wreath of smoke in air my shadow flees. Am I nothing but a soul ? 
— Now, praise to God, I sneeze. — A little winter wind has swept across 
the town. 

Then 'tis the swallows' joy in circling flight is spread. A creaking 
weathercock blends with their twittering cry. But in the fountain 'tis 
that, lifting not my head, there, close beside Racine, I love to see the 

Blue shutters, roofs of slate, soft clouds of morning clear, is it by such 
a stair that one to God may rise? Would you ascend, my soul, and 
leave my body here below, more drunk to grow wuth the rapture of my 

Cobblestones charm me first, most worthy of reno^vn, there are hun- 


dreds, one, two, three, ten thousand by my guess. All of them I admire 
(what sparkling cleanliness!) in climbing up the street that dominates 
the town. 

"Ding!" The half hour? Magic spell a single peal may bring! 
Of its vibration born lo, a whole church uprises. Eh? yes, 'tis Notre- 
Dame with tower all quivering. "Ding! ding!'' 'tis seven times thus 
that the bell evangelises, 

and the belfry with each chime soars loftier, broadens vaster, or is it 
I draw near tilting my chin in air ? — Dawn ! see this Finger sway 'gainst 
the horizon there: does it not point for thee thy Maker and thy Master? 

Yes, thou canst see him, thou ... I, better I observe the fifteen hun- 
dred roofs of the little town that go down the main street 'neath my 
eyes, fine and light, and far below on the road to Rheims defile, making 
a sudden curve. 

What chimneys! Ah, Seigneur! What vanes above the eaves! An- 
gels in rosy air what martial trumpets play ! Chimneys, in very sooth, 
warriors one well might say. Windows, no blossoms now, cultivate 
laurel leaves. 

I see the mill, its wheel, set where the Ourcq meanders, its high tower, 
bushes, signs. Lions and Salamanders, and Racine, three times Racine, 
half -bare — child — deity of olden times— Ai-e.' Hail! Three times hail 
to thee! 

There's the Hotel de Ville with its French flag there my inn o'er 
which with eyes of green, my Savage* doth preside, and the other 

ancient church below ; come, courage then ! the hands of citizens push 

all the shutters wide. 

Who now doth over me this sombre shadow throw? Houses somnam- 
bulant, who with a bound awake, to your shutters * noise ascend by swift 
assault to take the hill all flower-bedecked, the shade of the chateau ! 

You remain! . . . Good, I alone shall go to gaze on you from the 

♦ The author during his stay at La Ferte-Milon lived at the Hotel du Sauvage, 
the sign of which is a Man-Friday, black and bare like a great radish. 


height, then with both hands applaud you frantically, for, though I know 
not why, it is most sweet to me, against white walls the sound of all 
these shutters blue! 


Smyrna, Chios, ColopJion, Salamis, RJiodos, Argos, Athenae, Orhis 
de patrid certat, Homere, tud. 

Homer was born in cities seven. Seven houses saw thy birth, Racine. 
Thus claim, devoid of reason's leaven but in the most polite of styles — 
vantage from mighty names to glean — proud Hellas with its storied isles 
and my Ferte-Milon serene. 

The seven houses of Racine are not all dowered with gabled eaves save 
for the Hotel Dieu, no doubt, in rue Pomparde, set close about with huts 
like onion-patches mean. The rue Pomparde, your scribe believes, pom- 
pous in naught but name has been. 

But see this house in rue Jules-Girbe, number 4; the hold inhabited 
by this old buffer blanched of beard (Racine "old grej'beard" would 
have said) , in his courtyard tinkering away at a lamp, though a lamp- 
man proud in skill (and indeed I'd wish him artist), still a lamp won't 
make the light of day. 

Next the house in rue Saint- Vaast approach. Like the last 'tis num- 
ber 4, but pooh! Numbers are naught in such a coil. The number 4 
I now espy, poor hut all piteous to view, crushed by its roof so wretch- 
edly, flat as a roach doth pierce the soil. 

But this gives no aid to my affair. Let us quickly seai'ch rue Jean- 
Racine. Twenty-five? Where is it? In the air? Seventeen? Alack 
I'm in despair. They're not in ruins, but I wis, of owners rich the 
villas fair or profitable factories. 

So be it. rue Saint- Vaast again — at 3 — I know a bas-relief, cheeks of 
a hundred nuns to stain, thy grandsire Sconin held in fief.* — ^Think, Ra- 
cine, of what mischief 'twas the sign, that thy dam to destinies divine 
bore thee above that bas-relief. 

* It represents the Judgment of Paris. 


In rue le Meau we may conclude our quest, and 21 inspect. "What 
beasts superb with naught to fleck their state ! Ox, ass, those neighbours 
good, beside a smoking dunghill triced. But, though perhaps of his 
elect, Eacine could scarcely pose as Christ. 

Racine in seven houses saw the light of day. (So Rumour runs.) 
Since when seven over-reaching ones, the new possessors or the old, 
have never ceased to quarrel and scold, or frantically invoke the law, to 
prove the roof where now they cling received the Poet of the King ! 

To think what strife these owners wage, while thunderous eyes pro- 
claim their hate, would drive one to the cellarage, forcing the Mayor, in 
times of fete, by threes their numbers to engage ... or twos, but ne'er, 
forbid it, Heaven ! together all the squabbling seven ! 

No. But their hate at last appeased, when channeling time had set 
its flaw there, to end their bickering they were pleased, each keeping 
for his own the author of but a single tragedy of the seven Voltaire 
could quote by rote from Andromaque to AtJialie. 

These arrant thieves, these rascals bold, when sightseers on the past 

would ponder "Milord, 'tis ours you should behold!" — The truth is 

clear though errors swarm. Now where 's the house in which was born 
the author of AtJialie — " 'Tis here!" — that of IpJiigenie — ** 'Tis yon- 

'Twas so for the author of Ester and for the scribe of Mitliridate, and 
that of PJiedre, rebus rare! no less for that of Andromaque and he 
who wrote Bn^awmcws, "Milord, you need no omnibus . . . With clear- 
cut date, see, there's the plaque." 

I dare not think what strident yellings rose -vvhen the tourist, silly 
ass! was cursory with the seven dwellings and saw but two or three. 
Alas! Homeric taunts the vandal shames mixed with the fairest tragic 
names such as Plaideurs could scarce surpass. 

Backers of PJiedre and of Ester must hoot derisively whene'er from 
the dwelling of IpJiigenie (I synthesize) they chance to see that parasite 
on genius rare emerge. With erring club, alack, MitJiridate lays pros- 
trate Andromaque, 


while valiantly Britannicus ^nth Atlialie, no longer proud, joins in the! 
internecine fuss, urging each other, all the crowding seven to the supreme 
melee of bonnets and perruques. — But pray why seven? And what of 

Let me a moment scratch my ear. I swear I had forgotten clean that 
brute ! If La Ferte will hear my plan, I 'd have it straight begin choos- 
ing an eighth abode wherein to stage the birth of Jean Racine. 

A sudden thought; since here I stay two days with fortunes most 
forlorn, might he not, the scribe of Bajazet, in my Hotel du Sauvage be 
born? In that case, I wish (my shock immense stamps me a painter, so 
they say) to paint a plaque, and I commence : 

"Homer was born in cities seven. Eight houses claim thy birth, 
Racine. So drew, devoid of reason's leaven, but versed in all civilities, 
their profit from a mighty name, industrious and clever Greece and sly 
Ferte-Milon serene." 

The date, then, and the reason why I think the great tragedian, 
Thomas, within thy house was bora, born in thy house especially! . . . 
(For Thomas is the name, you know, of mine host of the inn where most 
I go. Gay, rosy, and rotund is he.) 

— When I have made him famous thus, straightway in envy's gulf I 
sink. I buy him out. 'Tis ruinous. For all my friends I ask to drink 
where Racine his birth would fain have willed, and where, in straits 
calamitous, Paul Fort soon dies, all pale and chilled. 


For Attentive "Wits. 

My ditty Berenice doth wrong? A queen in exile doomed to sigh, 
she has no portion in my song. Hardly — and yet perhaps one may 
grant her a house not far away at Crepy, that small town nearby, in 
which Racine was born, they say. 



Is the chateau to spooks a prey, the black chateau of La Ferte? . . . 
Is this a fire ? Is this the moon ? In quick succession through the gloom 
four windows blaze with fervid light. Are these the shaken torches 
bright of ghosts, that pace with noiseless feet, tonight, where the plateau 
is sweet with fragrant herbs the breezes sway. 

— Ghosts, I'm alone. What message, pray? 

To the owlet's hooting cry remote, the Gothic window now doth flare; 
to the toad's harsh croaking, on its note, appears the chapel — who goes 
there! ... to the ominous raven's cawing drear, three massive tomb- 
stones upward rear, and where the window's dyes are shed, a mad- 
dened dance begin to tread. Is the chateau to spooks a prey, the black 
chateau of La-Ferte ? 

— Ghosts, I'm alone. What message, pray? 

To the whistling of a train that nears, coming from Villers-Cotteret, 
rending his slab of granite grey, lo, Alexandre Dumas appears, to an- 
other train's ill-omened call, from where you like, to me all's one, burst- 
ing another burial stone, starts forth the shade of Paul Feval ; to a harsh 
siren's deafening shrieks, that shake the air despotically — the siren of 
a steamer — one distinguishes, come, can you not imagine? in his High- 
land breeks, the phantom of Sir Walter Scott, which, as if inadvertently, 
slips from the third uplifted stone. 

— Ghosts, I'm alone. What message, pray? 

From Notre-Dame dread midnight tolls. Three poignards gleam above 
three souls. From the ruins, 'tis no mortal cry! — Ghosts, I'm alone. 
What message, pray? — "We assassinate Racine!" reply the tones of 
Scott, befogged and dim from ancient bumperfulls of gin, reply the 
droning accents fine of Dumas savouring a vnne, replies the low, sepul- 
chral call of hydrophobic Paul Feval, and, thunderstruck, I flee away, 
leaving the flares to sink and swoon, tombs to disintegrate in sooth, 
allowing peaceably the moon to mount the manor's slated roof. But 
that it was to spooks a prey, ill habited by phantoms three — (some other 
night go there to see) — the black chateau of La Fcrtel 



Pensive, from the high esplanade I stretch my hand, that of a God, 
toward the horizon's opening road in the moonlight 'neath my eyes dis- 

I cadence still-expanding space and feel unclose the heaven's blue 
bowl, swelling the spirit of my race up to the measure of my soul. 

No. I'm alone on guard, and France that sleeps with unperturbed 
breath, beneath the moonlight's flood immense, has all the majesty of 

I think of gods that once were proud, of all the heroes buried deep, of 
how the lately-conquered sleep, of France in her funereal shroud. 

The god I was has perished now. Humbly I kneel and pray for all. 
Why does this peace upon me fall and this sweet hand caress my brow ? 

Genius of France, consoling Sprite whose veil, transparent with the 
light of the month elect when buds are rife and quickening seeds are 
thrilled with life, 

shines with the lustrous hue of hope! — and 'neath the morning's new 
romance a resurrected soul I ope to greet resuscitated France! 


A last song? Flushing all the sky Dawn like a rose-bud doth un- 
fold. The city is its flower of gold. Spring, my flower full-blo-wn, 
goodbyl . . . 

The manor's shade, that darkly grieves, increases my departure's pain. 
In that shade, how many lovely eves 'neath the tiered bastions of the 
plain ! 

♦This poem became the epigraph of POEMS OF FRANCE (Lyric bulletin of 
the war), published in 1916. 


I must go. Fate holds me in its clutch. Is the racked soul contented 
now? Farewell, sweet hill with virgin brow, and you, chateau I loved 
so much. 

A fragrant flower the town appears, that I to shred no longer dare 
with my regard; Dawn's sister fair, beheld through eyes all blurred 
with tears. 

Kose at the heart of a rose, farewell ! I dare not touch thee , . . How 
could I, a stranger? My departure's bell chimes slowly from the 
belfry high. 

— The manor's shade, that darkly grieves, increases my departure's 
pain. In that shade, how many lovely eves 'neath the tiered bastions of 
the plain! 

Flowers, still more flowers, a fragrant lawn enamelling our Valois 
lands, how I saw them born beneath the dawn whereto I stretched my 
yearning hands, 

dreaming of grasping, high in air, a golden harvest fair to see, Crepy, 
Dampleux, Crouy, Villers and Longpont with its priory, 

or, 'neath what names perfumed stiU more, these buttercups, these 
bluets blue, Troesnes, FaveroUe, Ivors, Bourg-fontaine, Ecoute-s'il- 

— The manor's shade, that darkly grieves, increases my departure's 
pain. In that shade, how many lovely eves 'neath the tiered bastions of 
the plain! 

Adieu, dear country of Racine! Adieu, fair land so pure of line, 
having at heart the rose serene that's of Ferte-Milon the sign 

whereon the double dews distill of the azure Ourcq, the blonde canal, 
where petit-patapan there drinks his fill the bee of the spruce and tidy 

Farewell the forge, with glow profound, the silence to the anvil's 
sound, and the shade, that comes to sadden me, of this manor loved so 


— The manor with its shade one leaves, makes far from light the exile 's 
pain. Adieu forever, my fair eves 'neath the tiered bastions of the plain I 

A last cry! Echoing let it glance from the manor to the Spring di- 
vine: "I'd be the foremost poet of France if only I could find the 


The more on my fair voyage I dream, the more my langours lose their 
hold, the more I ponder that calm scene whose spell this feeble heart 

the more I fondly think thereon, filled with the fancies of my brain, 
the more, at ease, I see again manor and moon and forest sun ! 

You, silver moon, on heaven's fine thread, most faithfully my musings 
led, till the sun rose for your reprieve. The past I long to disbelieve. 

How fair the shadow when the breath of the gale in all its ominous 
might, was by the rainbow put to flight. I do not wish to credit death. 

Hills pure, and made for me complete, spires, stream with tender 
gesturings, I rouse you with the faith that springs in hearts celestial fire 
doth heat. 

Is this a swallow's twittering clear, this sound that traverses my 
room? . . . What? The toad chants athwart the gloom. What? 'Tis 
the rook's harsh cry I hear . . . 

Apple and pear trees, flowery close that, shrined in verse, I fain would 
hold, you snow even as you snowed of old, at dawning, in the zephyr 

And you, my golden poplars, bent in winged files beneath the stress of 
murmuring breezes, you caress the stainless azure firmament. 

Am I yonder ? is it here ? this fair, sweet country I so much adore ? 'Tis 
yonder? I am also there. The problem troubles me no more. 


La Ferte-Milon, thy fair day, its vistas I in dreams would tread? 
That would be saying love is dead, while yet its end is far away. 

Manors, do you not feel me near, still in your ruins' charmed des- 
mesne ? Already doth my Shade appear behind the Phantom of Racine : 

soundless they roam the rampart's height, 'neath the same veil's up- 
lifted sheen, o'er the esplanade where comes the night, where glides the 
night of stars serene. 

And one, the greatest of the twain, to the other one that earthward 
bends, says, '' 'Neath the stars, lo, France descends toward the tiered 
bastions of the plain. ' ' 

*'How perfect the nobility of this Valois land in hushed expanse! 
Let us adore, my son." You see two Phantoms kneel, adoring France, 

manor ! Yes, 'tis he, I wis, 'tis surely he, that Phantom high ; how 
he shines ! his darker comrade, 'tis ... I have already said, 'tis I. 

— ^La Ferte-Milon, thy fair days, would I recall their vanished gleams? 
— ^Forever aid me, memories, my life to people with my Dreams! 

Grant that my happiness tomorrow, as yesterday, as today, may roll 
out of remembered dreams I borrow from this, my self-sufficing soul ! 



(First pages.) 


I do not claim a writer's bays. A poet I, who sings his lays. — What! 
without art my song were vain ? Listening thereto my grief I tame. 

I write the joy of words to win, and sing them. Ah ! I know not why. 
— The flood of little words, that try to weep, instead to laugh begin. 


But should misfortune still augment, in a cry my pen is shattered 
quite. — I do not know when I lament my sorrow if I sing or write, 


Nothing on earth so fair has been as natural song. Sweet lark on 
high twittering, sing the azure sky. Sing thou a tomb, Lamartine. 

Sing, owl, these nights in terror's sway, but thou, de Musset, sing as 
well. Sing, Keats, sing, passionate Philomel, the fair blue nights that 
last for aye. 

Sing, nightingales, your dolorous pain, like Heinrich Heine or Ver- 
laine, or sing, sing all your ecstacy, living or dead, alas ! — ^like me. 


Let us write. — What say I ? Let us sing ! hark to my new voice ! 
Give heed! How pure! and such my hn-e indeed that, groping, on its 
vibrant string 

my fingers like Blind Homer's press, eyes dark to his song: its music, 
stirred almost sans art, gives forth no less such tunes as air has never 

Therewith my merging voice doth sing. I list. How fair my voice's 
swell! Is this the Summer or the Spring? Ah, never have I Efung so 


That which to Moreas I owe is something words can never say. My 
soul was wearied, dark \\4th woe. Almost he made of it the gay 

sprite of cosmic fires no curb restrains. *'Make all your words as 
light as air! Mingle them with these buoyant flames whirling above 
the torches' flare." 

That which from ]\Ioreas I learned was my secret. Not for him 
since he, living — my master! Woe is me! — clear as today all things 



"What did I say just now? that art, skill in words, a poet did not 
need? . . . Knowledge must not protrude, indeed; one must know all 
things, but — by heart, 

after long toil. My sons, 'tis true that faulty writing never pays. The 
poet I who sings his lays, being perhaps a writer, too. 

The loves of night and morning, these form all the art of twilight fair. 
Knowledge and gift, style and sweet air, unite the two antipodes. 
• ••***# 






Pas n'est merveUle si j'ai le ccBur 
dolent, lorsque mon seigneur met 
ma terre au pillage. 

Richard Coeur-de-Lion. 

("Written in the ruins of the Chateau-Gaillard at Andelys.) 


Beneath the ruddy plume of the carnation wild that the ruin doth 
perfume in evenings of July, plunged in unfathomed gloom to never be 
beguiled, what did you think of me that evening green with storm, 
thoughts of my heart astray, — 'neath the carnations wild o'er the don- 
jon-keep that sway in evenings of July. 

Towards the tempest 's lowering mass I know you reasoned thus, that 
I've a heart, alas! flawed and adventurous, a heart that grumbles, soon 
turned silent utterly, like the tempestuous sky o'er yonder nodding 


plume; in the air, beneath the flower, I know you reasoned thus that 
I've a heart for dower, flawed and adventurous, 

like him, that luckless slave of fortunes varying, the evil-starred and 
brave Richard, crusader-king. To-night the tempest's blur parts to re- 
veal the moon at the rampart's verge. — The croon of the wind was my 
Blondel, 'mid the flowers, with music's swell, Fortune to importune, 
chateau of Richard Coeur-de-Lion 'neath the moon. 


It happened yesterday where a hundred roses grow, intruding througH 
the hedge a donkey came to bray precisely o'er my brow, and \vith 
petals rosy-hued bedecked me, as the sky zigzagging lightnings flecked, 
that rent the cloud 's black edge, dragging the thunder loud, so that, 'mid 
the roses fair, it happened yesterday — 

that never till that time to these ruins drawing near (for I climbed to 
your chateau, King Richard) did the car of chance on me bestow such 
fairy vistas gay, a music more sublime, so that Paul Fort you spied, 
white chateau Gaillard — who by the lightning saw what happened yes- 
terday — 

the donkey's back bestride, to the crackling thunder-peal, and, strewed 
with petalled rain, in either hand a rose, give himself, in high disdain 
of the bolts that rent the air, as a new proprietor to the lonely castle 
there, Richard restored again, lyric but freed from pose — then from the 
donkey slide, as yesterday befell. 


Thus for uncounted days — sans donkej'' as a rule — I come to chant 
the praise of grim Chateau Gaillard, of the silver Seine flowing at its 
feet, of the donjon with its scar, inflicted by a king unused to dalhing, 
and, in particular, of its blossoms sweet, Avhereof my art was fain, and a 
stream of silver cool, flowing at its feet. 

and often, even when fierce tempests shake the trees, I sing the flow- 
ers, the Seine, the castle, to the breeze that afar my voice doth bear, and 
laugh to feel the squall through my hair unhindered sweep, for I've no 
hat: till all is merged to form an air that ne'er was heard till then, 
the flowers, the donjon-keep, the silver of the Seine. 


'tis not up to the sky that, inebriate, I sing its chateaux of dream, 
unmortised reared on high, crumbling above my head, in shadows wan- 
dering, and o'er this ancient wall in ghostly grandeur spread, then fall- 
ing to obscure the barges drifting by with dusky coverture, and to 
shroud the murmuring stream whose tide beneath them flows. 


While from each flowery spray before these crumbling walls, siskin and 
goldfinch gay whistle their cheery calls, soft-couched upon the ling of the 
sands, I fain would sing of ancient combats rude. 'Tis good to hear the 
lays blithe birds are carolling, but better still to sing the assaults of other 

Strong towers the foe besets ! Walls that go crashing down enduring 
toil to crown! Tottering parapets! And when the battle hot, hither 
and thither slips, little and great at grips in the waters of the moat! 
Leaping the barriers high of pointed stakes arow from either side they 
cry : * * At them ! at them ! at them now ! ' ' 

It makes my heart rejoice, even to its depths, to dream — ranged in 
the open plain — of the haughty cavaliers ; it pleases me to see pavilions 
dot the ground, to hear the screaming voice of horses riderless, as hosts 
of knightly peers the battle's din prolong: the song within my heart to 
that sound is close akin. 


To dream, to sing — ^these are, poets, the selfsame thing! — Ah I the 
knights press on amain ! I see them in my dream. Towards the draw- 
bridge now they fly, straight, and with reeking spur. They are there! 
The drawbridge sly raises itself. They gain a charming interval while 
on their plumes doth fall a rain of boiling oil. 

God! — how the battle shout sonorous echo swells! "God with us! 
Mother of God! Well befall the right!" — Pest! the pioneers must go 
the chfitcau to gird about with storming towere of wood, balistas, man- 
gonels, while from the belfry's height on the moat's embattled marge 
hordes of cross-bowmen stout have trebled their discharge. 


Varlets, tumble in the moats, with unrelenting toil, faggots and pon- 
derous rocks and chunks of grassy soil! Pass! — Swift the mine pre- 
pare! With picks and axes smite! The perilous gauntlet dare and set 
the fuse alight! A tower is wrecked and blocks a moat with its debris. 
Ladders! . . . the standard fair wrought with the fleur-de-lys ! 


My heart beats — I hear it pound. — Ye visions great, good-bye ! There 
is no other sound save my heart's and a cricket's cry, and the yellow 
sun towards its setting goes. — How much my dream is one with the days 
that near their close! — Let us rise, in t\nlight's gloom I will botanise 
forsooth, seeking the herb of youth, the simple of the moon. 

Ah, do I know what pain on my poor heart doth weigh ? Am I think- 
ing of the love who left me yesterday? . . . The same ill circumstance 
hither despairing drove thee, Lion-Heart, full fain for that Alix of 
France whom thy father traitorous loved to insanity: thy rising had 
for cause a father's felony. 

If I could kill my sire through disappointment's rage in order to 
assuage by cold ambition's quest my amorous disgrace, Cceur-de-Lion 
dire ! and in my rigorous breast fraternal love efface, like you when you 
suppressed the Court-Mantel, to reign — if I but could and then, when 
firm upon the throne, to Jerusalem deliver Lusignan ! 


No, I'm doomed to love, in truth. My passion I must trail to weep 
against a stone, here, in this place apart where I inscribe her name be- 
tween a rock-rose bloom and a pink the hue of a heart. — My senses fail, 
benumbed! — I go to botanise in moonlight's shimmering gloss seeking 
beneath the moss the herb of deathless youth. 

Alas! This frustrate love, must it for aye endure? I needs must 
wait for day to sing the donjon-keep, the towers, the clouds above, the 
river's silver deep, and the shocks of ancient war. Alas, a lover's woes 
must they forever cling? The morning's crimson rose alone can make 
me sing. 

No sound the night discloses. A single ghost doth move still at my 
side to brood : the image of my love. Her floating veil I see that drifts 


an ell behind. 'Tis but a gleaming ray from the rising moon inclined. 
In this calm solitude shall I awaken, pray, couched in the heart of the 
roses, the gardener's donkey grey? 


But in morning's roseate glow what thing do I forget? 'Mid the 
blossom-sweetened air, I forget my amorous pain. And I sing, and sing 
again, the Seine •with silver set and its isles and its strong chateau. "A 
tower is wrecked and blocks a moat with its debris. Ladders! — the 
standard fair, wrought with the fleur-de-lys!" 

Richard with one black arm has seized the standard now. On the 
lilies shall be laid thy blushing cheeks, Alix, Flower of France, when 
the King implants a kiss on thy charming brow. — May this little ^vinged 
song, with form indefinite, in the selfsame guise have power to my false 
love to fare; although, in truth, 'twas made that she might slumber 

Three verses shouted high are by Bertrand de Born. The others are 
by me: few merits these adorn. Would you have one's judgment cold 
when love has said good-bye? Is a broken heart the sphere of subtle 
reasoning? Did you do better here, Coeur-de-Lion bold, Richard, my 
King? If 80 — troubadour — my inspiration be 

since in your chateau all the world abandons me. 

Extracts from IN ANDELYS. 





Great spirits of the Seine, in clear light flowing on, pliantly mirror- 
ing Andelys and Rouen, 

of the Seine where apples rare their reddening globes may scan and 
Bouilhet and Flaubert and Corneille and Poussin, 

welcome without a sneer my country mien. I'm one, like you, not 
overprone to guzzling ale and beer. 


Do my friends in Bacchic glee — La Fontaine and Racine — drink 
naught but Castaly and naught but Hippocrene? 

no, red wine! A drop I toss of water of Jouvence into my cup that 
froths to honour all of France, 

and now in fellowship, if spoken it must be, is frothing at my lip to 
toast your Normandy. 

One drop of the water of youth and I rise, to shout afar, boldly, the 
praise, in sooth, of old Chateau Gaillard, 

of its cliffs, of the forests blue of that fair isle Contant, of the lovely 
Ile-de-Grace and of Vexin Normand 

and, indeed, at day's decline of a shower of raindrops fine which, my 
distant loves, begets a host of sweet regrets. 

Great sprites with names divine, permit then that Jouvence — sole 
potable fount of France — be wedded to my wine. 

This stirs the heart, it is a philtre, truth to tell. You recognise it 
well, doers of prodigies ! 

A drop at least, forsooth, add to your cider's brew: that your work 
may keep its youth and grow in merit, too. 

Quaff cider and champagne 'mid the green rushes fair of the brook- 
side, Corneille, Bouilhet, Flaubert. 

gold-wreathed ! though Nicholas * portrays us at our ease before a 
Roman arch, beneath French apple-trees. 



A heaven confused pours forth these feeble twilight glows. Fairer 
than clearest sky the fleecy clouds appear; this eve the glimmering sun 
like suavest moonlight shows, and Earth's conglomerate sweet is wholly 
gathered here. 

♦ Nicholas Poussin. 


The breeze, that softer grows in evening vapours cold, with calm 
and tender love upon the reeds doth weigh. The cloud, agape for 
dreams, allows one to behold that planet which itself forgets, forgets the 

I tread a river's brim whence, as in dream, I see the image of the 
sun, whose halo, silver-lit, swims through the rushes green and slowly 
foUow^s me, while murmurous clouds of gnats are dancing over it. 

Farewell, sun, too prone to dream in the river's dark abyss. — From 
nenuphars arise these hues of gold and milk diffusing furtive gleams 
like undulating silk. Of flowers that drown themselves how brief the 
splendour is! 

Restored, with fall of night, to the shapes in motion there, the far 
shore, vaporous sea, your billows have immersed. Pursuing banks of 
fog across the river fare. Of the bridge I only see a single span, the 

Soul astray, shall I go to dream, 'mid mists profound and wan, of a 
bridge to guide my steps to Heaven's resplendent height, or of the 
Stream that falls into eternal Night? What dreaming, still to dream if 
all the world is gone ! 

Poesy, poesy, when sleep the world assails and there is no more moon 
and there are no more stars, you watch my soul that glides, ample, 
bereft of veils, a river slow that lulls great, golden nenuphars. 



Fair evening longed for birth, the firmament was pure. Life and the 
light of day were softly-tinted blue, the distant trees were blue and in 
the heavens remote, wandered a little moon, white as a dreaming soul. 

It is by such a light that I have seen thee thrice — Fay — before I 
lived, in life, and in a dream, in holy Paradise, at five, and at thirteen. 

It is by such a light in the bed-room of vacations the slumbering chil- 
dren dream of sheep with white and curly wool. 


It is by such a light that young girls play the piano beside great, open 
windows, dreaming of the young girls of yesterday. 

It is by such a light that the eglantine 's athrill . . . dream of rambler- 
roses twining ancient walls and the hens of the cock of the church, grey 
heads beneath their "vvings. 

It is hy such a light that little rabbits close their rounded eyes, thinking 
of small, pink carrots. 

It is by lights like these, it is by such a light, that all that is sweet 
takes place in the thoughts of children, of animals and of flowei-s. 

It is by such a light that I have seen thee thrice — Fay — before I 
lived, in life, and in a dream, in holy Paradise, at five, and at thirteen. 

Fair evening longed for birth. The firmament was pure. Life and 
the light of day were softly-tinted blue, the distant trees were blue and 
very high in heaven wandered a fine, clear moon, white as a dreaming 



To see and know absorbs the whole of life's domain. Have I leisure 
to devote myself to poesy? Such reams of history ! Bonaparte! Charle- 
magne! Here the Prussians, over there Louis Second, the Stammerer. 
In all things am I versed, or rather wish to be, hoping, with studious 
care, a point at last to reach where I shall not confound the oak-tree 
with the beech, noting the salient marks of bark and leaf. To me the 
briar is colocjTith, the leek ambrosia fair. Have I leisure to devote my- 
self to poesy? And to see! I dote upon it to frenzy. None has got 
a better eye to scan, as it is and as it's not, this infinite universe. My 
visions swarm. I love to focus them, despite those gypsy ones that 
rove . , . the flight of a hill beneath the panic of a hare ; great banks of 
floating clouds uniting Dream to Dream, the pomp of barges slow, in 
evening's purple gleam, heaven's blue that's laughing there in the 
blue of the washing-place, the images of Kings on tavern biUs-of- 


fare, or this sluggish, dead canal with its eternal brink, and the forgotten 
drink beneath the arbour chill, near the crochet-hook — my heart! — 
and beside the salad dish, and my sweetheart plucking there, with a 
resigned ennui, this thin cock (ah! to strip the daisies white that way) : 
I see her eyes ashine with tear-drops in the night, as for me, I scale a 
fish above the kitten grey. . . . Our lamp lights up, is this the effect of 
chance? . . . afar, with a sad and poignant strain the air of heaven is 
rife . . . the Great Bear is the hai*p of the Chateau Gaillard. . . . Have 
I leisure to devote myself to poesy ? The wish to see and know will have 
laid waste my life. 



Let us sing, to end our lay, Normandy's azure skies, fairest the King- 
dom knows, or the Republic rather, so well contrived to cover both hell 
and paradise, comprised of coal, of blue, and of seraphic grey. 

In missals I have conned such heavens have smiled on me, arching 
above the broils of angels and of fiends, in the world's primal days, or 
flashing from the high cathedral's jewelled panes in legends of Marie, 
Clotilde, or Radegonde. 

To abase the dragon proud, Saint Michael plunges thence. There the 
mild virgin sways a Christ, on slender knees. Skies, ever dappled o'er, 
where, black, the Demon plays on the checker-board of cloud all the 
good saints of France 

'gainst God, who, as his use is, betting his trusting flocks on the 
virtues of his saints, above the harvests, loses! And fierce the thunder 
shocks, wind howls, and lightning rends. The hail, in Normandy, intimi- 
dates the fowls. 

Skies, to exorcise the soul of which I'm the hydra dread, from your 
pious reservoirs pour holy water down, or, better, if you fear some hole 
would hide my form, skies, great skies, dappled o'er, rain eider on my 





This little chime they play, matinal, wandering, revives thy vanished 
Spring, my heart, at break of day. 

This little chime they play, at the fresh heart of day, light, near and 
far away, has changed my destiny. 

What ! Since this hour, shall I survive while joys depart, faint, chim- 
ing melody that thus renews my heart? 

So far, monotonous, and lost, so wholly lost, O little wandering air to 
heaven's fresh heart uptossed, 

you depart, return, chime on, like love you rove and stray, you tremble 
on my heart in the clear dawn of da3^ 

What! Could one's life be thus, rural, monotonous, sweet even as is, 
nearby, this little melody? 

sweet, simple, far away, as it afar is borne, this little, trembling air 
at the fresh heart of mom? 



Of school I'd need an overplus, more lore than is assumed ad lib by a 
writer ranked as frivolous, more style to grace my goose-quill 's nib, and 
many other things, my love ( genius would not be least thereof j , to tell 
the marvels I descried in a church of this fair countryside. 


A dmrcli? And which, my poet, pray? They're thick as mount- 
ing larks in May. 'Tis that of Gambaseuil I mean which every day at- 
tracts the eye with its belfry leaning all awry, whose bell clangs dull as 
kitchen pot. (I speak no wicked word, God wot.) I'd need more school 

But I will try, though I suppose I loom not large in poesy. The 
Muses nine they flout at me, and proud Polymnia thumbs her nose. 'Tis 
patent that the pen I need justice to such a theme to do is your zealous 
reed. Saint Chrysostom, or the stylus of Bertrand de Born, et cetera, 

Babbler, your lay is overdue ! I '11 try with Homer to compare, with 
Virgil and Madame Tastu, Lord Byron and my god, Voltaire. Ye 
Muses hither hie amain ! Briskly now ! Pass the elegie, the satire and 
the epopee that I may sing in every strain. 

Reluctant, through the dawning day I went, love, having left your 
side (A bed's worth naught in summertide. He's an arrant knave who 
says me nay) and, to descend, descended gay, humming an air for hum- 
ming 's sake, of Gambaseuil the narrow way, by naught constrained this 
course to take. 

The wood, not yet from dreams withdrawn, having heard, 'neath 
evening's dusky veils, the passion of the nightingales, lay silent in the 
glimmering dawn. A dung-hill rooster sang afar the death of a belated 
star. I felt myself still more alone as down the slope I journeyed on. 

Spreading their rose-flushed summits high, with filtered dew the pine- 
trees wet path, bushes, and the spider sly, in the centre of her crys- 
talled net. Suddenly, in the plains beneath, turned towards our forests 
and the dawn, the hunters blew their echoing horn in a view-halloo that 
taxed the breath. 

'Mid the murmurings of myriad bees, the songs of horns more far away 
with swelling clamour wound their way into my ears' interstices. The 
birds, all wakened with a will, shook dulcet pearls from eveiy bough, 
and pray who now would go and bid the blackbirds' empire to be still. 

And the cuckoos and the finches, too! The feathered host, from jay 
to lark, who chant and cheep the woodland through and tap light beaks 
against the bark! I, with no wings to soar from earth, sang too, towards 


where the morning stirred, feeling myself become a bird amid the uni- 
versal mirth. 

* ' Paul Fort of France, awake to glory ! The promised day has dawned 
at last, and poesy's bright standard hoary, uplifted, floats on freedom's 
blast." I saw through glinting forests green, heroic Vendees traversing, 
our buoyant Gallic songsters bring the lyrics of the new regime. 

By a gully's shelving slope betrayed, head over heels I rolled amain, 
arriving, without any pain, at the border of a woodland glade, and 
there my startled glances met ... (I give you guesses three, my dear) 
... a cure making his toilette beside a royal musketeer. 

In the waters of a dreamy brook, to wash his fingera' unctuous skeins, 
besmeared and streaked with vivid stains, most ardently he undertook. 
A rare old man ! Methought he bowed finny parishioners to bless. From 
venerable phalanges the iridescent bubbles flowed. 

Not far off on the sward, delighted with such fair presents to be 
strewed, a canvas and an easel stood a palette and two lanterns, lighted. 
His buttocks deep in tufted fern, (think not 'tis my imagination), tug- 
ging his boots off, D 'Artagnan damned with black curses all creation. 

"Florent, your words should be deleted, weeded and tended like j'-our 
flowers," scolded the priest. "Our task completed we'll take this hunts- 
man saint of ours and hang him by Our Saviour's side. How my flock, 
amazed that sight to see, their eyes and mouths will open wide. 'Tis 
my masterpiece, apparently. ' ' 

I sneezed, when, swift as any breeze, the cure and the musketeer, one 
seizing the accessories, his boots the other, disappear leaving the lanterns 
twain alone. I snuffed them 'neath the pallid dawn. Even when fairj^- 
tales befall one should be economical. 

Full day beneath the forest's tent, bathing each leaf in burnished 
gold, routed all mystery. On I went, when what strange sight should I 
behold that petrified me in mid course! (Three guesses? Come, take 
six instead.) A baby's wooden hobby-horse by a giant stag of ginger- 

We are not on earth to fathom all, and naught our souls will know, they 


Bay, when dawns that final, fatal day and Heaven 's consuming thunders 
fall. This Raphael of a later age, plucked from a fable's flowered page, 
this guardsman in full panoply, whence came they? Fallen from, the 

For a mystic whom my humour suits, 'tis hard a halo to accord to 
easel, lantern, colour-board, those folio tail-piece attributes 1 What would 
you say if, in the wood, your path to such a tableau led? A stallion 
from the nursery stud by a giant stag of gingerbread! 

Naught surely. So I spoke no word. Silently through the wood I 
strode and quickly came upon a road where never a hare-brained rascal 
stirred. I trudged it, thinking I might seek (because it ran beside a 
bog) my curiosity to wreak on the customs of the azure frog.* 

I did not see it. I accuse my little luck or froggie's ruse. Yet in those 
fair regions all is fair. Charming the daybreak's vaporous air, the trees 
uplifted fragrant crests, lovely, beneath the lucent morn, as, in crea- 
tion's genesis, their forebears on the instant born. 

For harmony the stage was set, the bravest, the most lyrical! No 
savage heart have I, and yet to Nimrod is my soul in thrall. Then 
judge what happiness I knew, what singing blood my heart o'ei*flowed, 
when the hunt came streaming down the road, prepared to sound the 

No, the beast, the royal quarry, swerves. Farewell the chase! Day 
will have faded, if well my hunting knowledge serves, ere the death. His 
crest was scarcely jaded. The dogs lose hope. But, far away, with all 
my nerves I follow him. Upon his branching horns I skim. "Fly by 
the road of Rambouillet ! " 

Red jackets sweep across the glade. Their alternation with the pines' 
green shafts is like a fusillade. They are gone, the stag with spreading 
tines, hunters and dogs. 'Tis still as death. One holds a trembling 
marguerite. Adieu, chase that flies so fleet ! One is sad at the border 
of a path. 

And as the gentle tear-drops fall a cuckoo mocks you with his call. 

*It is the land of azure frogs (Pierre belong). They are found only here and 
in Russia. 


The fantasy's reawakening, to the odour exquisite is due of trodden moss, 
that maddens you. One lives again, in wistful wise, the ardours of a 
vanished spring, and sees the golden hair of Lise. 

Love, be not vexed, although I know this affinity of sight and scent 
can be but half a compliment! Your body breathes the soul of roses. 
But earth's fresh, virginal redolence or the smell of moss in the forest, 
these bring back one's early innocence. I fear the scent of cypresses. 

And, a propos, my love, my flower, most sensitive of hearts that thrill, 
do you know how odours have the power to summon distant things at 
will? Objects, and beings dead and gone, friends, kinsmen, cats and 
doggies dear. Aye, scents can even make appear persons that one has 
never known. 

The smell of oaks has Charlemagne. Jeanne d'Arc from the elder- 
flower doth start. Which of our hunting Louis but smells of partridge? 
The Pompadour's perfume is vervain. But if eau de Cologne and snuff 
conjointly across my ravished senses come sure as the deuce (foul fiend, 
aroint thee ! ) I see the first Napoleon. 

From Mandreuse to where Germania rests, and from Gambais to 
Etang Neuf, I heard the jargonning of nests, ogled the blue-embrasured 
roof where, ending every avenue, idyllic Edens laugh. But soon a rifted 
bell, with the jangling tune of its cracked heart, beat the hour. 'Twas 

bells of marriage, bells of death, and bells of birth, for all yonr 
might, you yield, with no dissenting breath, before the bell of appetite. 
But at that moment where was I ? Li Paris? In the Bois du Boulogne? 
In some far corner of the sky ? An azure placard made it kno^vn. 

1 sniffed (with no trace of pride be it spoke. True, I had rested fre» 
quently.) Gambaseuil's pungent chimney-smoke, my goal precise . . . 
Geography and strateg^^, like Bonaparte, to weary out, one needs the aid 
of that convenient little chart in his umbrella's depths displayed. 

Where the first village huts were set, that brusquely on my vision 
broke, making a great to-do, I met a clustered throng of happy folk, 
girls, peasants in their portly prime, babes, scrawny spouses. All took 
part (I give you guesses twelve this time, my love.) — in criticising art. 


Oh, sight benign ! The village hums with frank and unaffected stric- 
ture (while churchward point a score of thumbs) : — ''Saint Hubert! 
What a charming picture ! ' ' — ' ' The toads ! "What mummery ! An abb^ 
painting his gardener. I say!" — '* 'Tis a treasure for our church to 
hold. Rothschild would cover it with gold." 

"Ah," one declared, to his nose applying a finger trembling with 
finesse, "last year's Jeanne d'Arc, there's no denying, good gossips, 
showed more suppleness, contours more pleasing to the eye." — "Oho!" 
they laughed, "A satyr! Fie!" The school-girls choired, in their pre- 
cisest of tones, "Saint Hubert's far the nicest!" 

I passed them by. The church was there, small and sweet behind its 
hedge retired, blest belfry cleaving quiet air, sill by a cackling goose 
admired. White geese and tombs, what candours chaste against the 
grave-yard's sombre smudge! With paunch compressed, with swelling 
breast, with eyes alert, I went to judge. 

Preceded by a single bee, swiftly I entered, and at once the marvel 
that at morn the dawn's dark mists had hidden from my eyes arises, 
flames before them, cries across the chapel's narrow vault: "Sir What's- 
your-name, attention! Halt!" — hung to the left of the sacristy. 

Struck to the bottom of my heart by the smell of pigments just ap- 
plied, I sniffed the colours, scarcely dried, of that masterpiece of candid 
art. Yes, 'twas Saint Hubert as my whim in waking dreams imagined 
him, a guardsman of the king's in green, blue, red, with nose of 

laced boots that shame the raven's hues, and purple breeches that 
o'erflow their tops in waves of indigo, blue of the Turco, blue of blues, 
loose hunter's blouse, a belt of leather in athlete-fashion doth confine; 
at throat and wrists bleached muslin fine, a green felt hat, a falcon's 

' ' There is a canvas that's sincere ! Painting that shows a poet 's fire ! ' ' 
I murmured in my ego's ear, and, what I even more admire, no envious 
shadows interfere to filch, as with a sneak-thief's hand, one half the 
contours nobly-planned that dower my kneeling musketeer. 

But I forget: a flowing mane, like mine, of dusky locks that lie 


straighter than drumsticks, mine the eye, black, made for love, I well 
maintain, Adam's apple, fruit of gullet long — 'tis I, but greater! — no, 
I'm wrong; Heaven ne'er vouchsafed that I should ride a cabbage- 
cutter at my side. 

Besides, I'm clothed in black (my hoary regrets befitting), but observe 
how this Saint Hubert in his glory seems, though transported, full of 
verve, so gaily his blue arms are spread towards that stag-of-ten that 
stands so straight, sculptured in spicy gingerbread, rigid as Justice, 
firm as Fate. 

He has cause, poor beast ! He knows the dread encumbrance that his 
brow adorns, the weight he carries on his head! Does there not die 
between his horns — wide homs that like a lyre do seem — a mighty Christ 
in flesh and blood, higher than shepherd's crook, a God a thousand em- 
pires to redeem? 

As proud as life, a pleasing sight, the sturdy charger made of wood, 
behind and somewhat to the right, close to the royal guardsman stood. 
His dwarfish stature to enhance, an ardent breath his nostrils blew. Ah, 
in your battles, Kings of France, how many steeds have died for you ! 

But the eye is good, and fine the coat, as black as ink save at the feet, 
more white than is the snowj^ stoat, the mane and tail are disparate ; one 
fire-red, t 'other water-blue. Girt, coquettishlj'-, between the two, the sad- 
dle is that Turco blue already praised anent Saint Hubert. 

And all this, stag, steed, musketeer, the great, pale god, the forest 
screen, bathed in a heavenly ray serene like a baptismal billow clear. 
Stalactite-like, through leafy mazes, the tale's protagonists between, it 
sifts from rifts of tender green, and gilds a greensward filled with 

And all this forms so sweet a scene, so fresh and candid it appears, 
and for the soul so sovereign, you fain would weep with happy tears, 
before this hymn of colour true. Soon SAinpathetie tear-drops start. 
Sharp pity overpoAvers your heart, and faith and fervour vanquish you. 

My face suffused with floods of brine, while mighty sobs new breAvs 
were broaching, I knelt before that sacred shrine and felt conversion 
fast approaching, when a bit of folded paper white below the canvas 


came to view. Pushed by the Fiend, I opened it and read the lines I 
read to you. 

"Painted at night, that God, whose eyes in secret see, the work might 
bless and that my flock I might surprise on my birthday. Freely I con- 
fess it was my gardener, Jean Florent, for blest Saint Hubert's por- 
trait stood. One sees nearby the steed of wood that by his youngest son 
was lent. 

The duchess of Uzain it is, ''our duchess" as one says( it suits her 
whim to act in comedies) , who lent hat, sabre, blouse and boots. But, as 
no breeches could be had, Florent, the embroglio to salve, donated those 
that, when a lad, he wore in Tunis, a Zouave. 

The stag — Lord, hear a sinner 's prayer and pardon me ! — a year ago 
I bought in Montfort at the fair. It cost ten sous. It pleased me 
though. 'Twas from the Parish Fund I made this little purchase. As I 
crave the dying Christ my soul may save, 'twas only done the Faith to 

That finished me . . . Posthaste I fled! . . . fainting, I gained your 
fair retreat, all pale, with hunger nearly dead . . . Come now, what do 

you say, my sweet? "Is there a poet in Poesy who is not paid with 

words?" I ask. — Ambrosia may the gods deny to him who finds his art 
a task. 



Earth and horizons round. 
Sky where three doves are found. 
Sea. Fleecy lambs that bound. 
War. Cannon thunder-toned. 
Love lies asleep. . . . 

Inside my father's close, grows a sweet olive tree. Spain's royal 
daughters fair they lie beneath it there. 



I love the one who loves me, gay, gay, gay, I 've a heart so gay ! I 
love the one who loves me, gay, gay, gay, I've a heart so gay! The 
bells of Love are chiming deep, sound, sound, myriad sound. Earth and 
horizons round. Love lies asleep. . . . 

Spain's royal daughters fair they lie beneath it there, they lie be- 
neath it there. "Look," said the eldest one. "Sisters, the day's be- 


I love the one who loves me, gay, gay, gay, I've a heart so gay! I 
love the one who loves me, gay, gay, gay, I've a heart so gay! The 
god of Love his psean shakes, sound, sound, sound. Sky where three doves 
are found. Sweet love awakes. . . . 

"Look," said the eldest one. "Sisters, the day's begun. Sisters, 
the day's begun." The second said, "Ah me! Where can our lovers 


I love the one who loves me, gay, gay, gay, I 've a heart so gay I I 
love the one who loves me, gay, gay, gay, I've a heart so gay I The 
god of Love his pasan shakes, sound, sound, sound, myriad sound. Sea. 
Fleecy lambs that bound. Sweet love awakes. . . . 

The second said, "Ah me ! "Where can our lovers be? Where can our 
lovers be?" The youngest, she is dead, in love's felicity. 


I love the one who loves me, gay, gay, gay, I 've a heart so gay I I 
love the one who loves me, gay, gay, gay, I 've a heart so gay ! The 
bells of Love are chiming deep. Sound, sound, myriad sound. War. 
Cannon thunder-toned. Love lies asleep. . . . 

Earth and horizons round. 
Sky where three doves are found. 
Sea. Fleecy lambs that bound. 
War. Cannon thunder-toned. 
Love lies asleep. . . . 




It is the land of azure frogs. . . a 

Pierre LELONa. 


The train puffs off, and we depart, — fay of my heart, enchanted Muse, 
— speeding to summer's azure heart, to that vaunted ground where trees 
are found as thick as rushes in the ooze. 

'Tis in the land of the Yveline, Muse, a cottage waits for you and me, 
there it awaits us, small and fine, a rustic cot, yet half-divine, so clean, 
so white, such hai-mony ! 

This much alone I know, my love, that it waits 'neath many a heaven 
blue, and was chosen for us by Vibert that we might spoil with verses 
there his wood-cuts, prefaced by Helleu.* 

On we speed : Saint Cyr, farewell to thee, Grignan, Plaisir, Neauphle- 
le-Vieux, Montfort, Galluis; and soon La Queue. In a hamlet — sweet 
futurity ! — tonight how happy we shall be ! 

This hamlet christened Les Haizettes, beneath Gros Rouvre, hard by 
Baisson, from tonight we there . . . but hurry on, our spirits much re- 
joiced. Musette, that with Haizettes doth rhyme "noisettes." 

Let us love already Yveline, the land where mused the young Racine 
when all day he stayed away from school to the horror of Monsieur 
Nicole. Shall we be less frivolous. Muse of mine ? 

* An allusion to the "work" assigned to the author by his friend the art-editor 
Helleu, which consisted in underlining with poems the wood-engravings of an album 
composed by the excellent engraver, Eugene Vibert, in honour of the land of the 


This train goes well. The Yvette I 've seen cut, with the blade of its 
pruning-hook, fields gold in the sunset's ardent sheen, and this one- 
journey's end I ween — quenches the gleam that lights my book. 

Here is La Queue, where we descend. Like an altar doth Vibert ex- 
tend his arms, his beard, his progeny, then the Lieutel he indicates whose 
stream I thought was the Yvette 's. 

I present him, lovely Muse, to thee. 


Here in my little hamlet, three most marvelous animals there be, three 
little calves, three treasures small, white marked with yellow are they all. 

Couched on the daisy-dotted leas, like plutocrats they rest at ease, 
and when I pass them, slow or fleet, follow the cadence of my feet. 

So much that, reading yestere'en Francis of Sales, whom I rave about; 
yes, the introduction rare, supreme, and so tender, to the Life Devout, 

going and coming, diligent the well-known path to tread once more, 
feeling a virgin sentiment bom in my soul, a pang obscure, 

they marked with gently-swaying head the cadence of my pious tread ; 
three little calves, their gaze intent on me, as to Gambaiseuil I went: 

Lamb of God, on the road to Paradise, Elysian hazel-nuts to get, may 
there follow me the sweet, dark eyes of the little calves of Les Haizettes. 


Cottage, your trinkets are the rose, the marguerite; 
These colours twined above, these candours at your feet. 
Fair cottage. Nature here contrives our lives to bless 
In sheltering our hearts with clustered blossoms pure. 
Cottage, this will endure as long as happiness. 





Good forester, upon our knees we pray you, tell us, if you please, how, 
here amid his native bog, to know the famous azure frog? 

Because bright green the others are? because he's heavy? alert? Be- 
cause he flees the ducks' voracious maws? or sways upon a nenuphar? 

Through his voice that sounds with pearly tone? because he bears a 
crest, maybe? or is wont to dream in company? beside his mate? 
or quite alone? 

Having reflected carefully, and scanned the bog with glances keen, 
the good old man replied to me, "By this, because he's never seen." 



Good forester, you lied ! Thus is my joy betrayed. This very morn I 
spied a sapphire quadruped. Leagued with the sunny sheen, lured by 
the heaven's clear hue, its glossy form was green, but mirrored stainless 



I erred! the thing exists. Its little heart doth beat. But it dies be- 
tween my fists, by faltering life forsook, caught by a child who came 
to try that angling feat, red flannel for his bait, a pin to serve for 

Pardon, little soul that sings so sweet and high when the broad 
argent moon has its paraselenes, dead thus between my hands, what 
pain my spirit gleans! and blue, yes, thou art blue, as blue as deepest 


Must, on the breeze, thy dust to lands afar be blown ! Light fairy, of 
the woods, a phantom pale thou art. Blue, I mouni thee, green, alas! 
what would I then have done? I would have tossed thee back. Im- 
perfect is the heart. 


In the viewless belfry-top reared by the shades of night the round 
moon is a clock that marks the hours in flight. — No circling hands are 
set on the moon's face, you find? Nor any beadle yet its coiling spring 
doth wind? Yet it chimeth none the less. When midnight once is 
passed, hark, 'neath the forest vast, to the sounds and silences. One ! 
the finch proclaims it. Two! The warbler sable-crested, and half-past 
two the quail and the warbler crimson-breasted. Three! The owlet's 
whit-tu-whoo, and the blackbird's whistle gay. Four! The brown- 
headed tit trills, and Avith throat of grey the field-lark answers it. Five, 
'tis the sparrows all! (Crazed is the nightingale who, with her dolorous 
tune, floods the still, moonlit glades from midnight black till day. O'er 
her wrong, no god hath power.) — What if tonight we lack — like snipping 
scissor-blades that, small and small, divide Time into tiny shreds — ^two 
hands to grace the moon ! Did the Great Beadle fail to wind the spring 
aright? What does the poacher care? In the birds he finds the hour. 


To Pierre Lelong, my neiglibour 
at Haizettes and the author of that 
astonishing hook: "In the Land of 
Azure Frogs.'* 

We who beheld this sight were two, I swear, Pierre Lelong and I. 
Pierre, by nature far more sly than I, obtained the better view. 

At Haizettes, hard by my woods it was — you must believe our fer- 
vent vows — Pierre and I beheld him thus, dancing beneath the pear-tree 

Above, the mellow moon enhanced skies green with evening's waning 
light. The wizard, screeching as he danced, juggled with roses red and 


hurled them so high, so swift, despite the obstructing screen of 
boughs, that soon his garland reached heaven's cloudless height and 
seemed to wind about the moon. 

And we saw the moon — ^though I attest Pierre Lelong observed it best 
— into the pear-tree sink, and there sway like a ripe and luscious pear 

beneath three leaves its silver blanches; but at once the orb that 
gently rocked was croaked at. chanted at, and mocked, in the foliage on 
the fruited branches, 

by azure toads, fantastic things, girdled with scarlet, crowned with 
gold, as in Trees of Jesse you behold the seated effigies of kings. 

' ' My dog at the bishop 's self may stare, at confirmation, ' ' quoth Pierra 
' ' Profane observers though we be, let us approach, but warily, 

tiptoe." Our sorcerer deformed, who for a satyr might have posed, 
hump-backed, knock-kneed, with temples horned, a wild and noble head 

His mantle was an eglantine where a myriad trembling blossoma 
twined. The dew in droplets crystalline rolled from his nape to his 

And in the grass, his sabots through, his cleft hoofs plainly did ap- 
pear. They were, these sabots shiny-new gleaming carbuncles glassy- 

Now with a knife, as sharp as doom, he cut large slices from the moon, 
and, — enigmatic stratagem — ^among the toads divided them. 

Was it curiosity alone, or did we wish to have a share of that enor- 
mous summer moon, of that translucent, mammoth pear? 

a further step we hazarded. The faun, with swiftly lifted head, showed 
us two swelling tears. ' * 'Tis plain the wizards are the gods that reign 

o'er poets. Kneel !" my comrade said. Mistake! For me the vision 
fled. Lelong beheld the faun aloof hanging beneath my cottage roof. 


"At first I took him for an ape," he said. "Nearby, was this a shape 
of smoke'? ... or clothes hung out to air? . . . Bah! nearer there was 
nothing there." 

We who beheld this sight were two, I swear, Pierre Lelong and I. 
Pierre obtained the better view, for Nature has no fox so sly. 


How does it reach me, the forest wind that lulls the palms at night? 

What could it teach me, the forest wind that shakes the hearth-fire 

What thing does it want, the forest wind that taps at the pane, then 

What sight doth haunt the forest wind that it warns with fearful 

What have I done to the forest wind that it tears my soul with 
dread ? 

What, to me, is the forest wind, in sum, that so many tears I shed ? 


To the soul there is no sound that chimes more dolorously, no sound 
of more severe, of more religious tone — ^sudden it holds you mute, it 
turns you to a stone — ^than the sonorous shock of steel against a tree. 

I love to hear that sound where conquering death intrudes. Yes, I 
dearly love to hear, seeking the distant sun, the dull blows of the axe 
resound with muffled tone, amid the silence vast of dim and sombre 

Closing my eyes I see, as of the soul I dream, the fatal woodsman 
strike. No rancour speeds his bloAvs. Taciturn he strikes, he reckons 
up his woes before his hut of logs, where ravening flame doth gleam. 


He strikes. . . . Thus round him death, with axe-blade rapier-keen, 
strikes, strikes, and strikes again, with strokes no rancour brings. May- 
be gain some trifling joy 'mid such excess of woes! 'Mid dull, resound- 
ing blows with friendly voice serene 

to the old chopper of oaks the robin blithely sings. 


Two glutted barrows we despatch, filled with our things. We cannot 
wait. The weather-cock above the thatch utters a cry so desolate! 

We go ... to each his mode. . . . For me, sobs bow my head, my 
eyes are wet. Then fare thee well our, my Haizettes ! Cottage, we must 
depart from thee ! 

Carlegle, whose talent 'tis to draw, arrives and claims the right to 
make us to a more modest cot betake us, 'neath narrower thatch of 

'Tis not his fault. I'd but to go sooner than he the rent to pay. I 
did not. What regrets today ! He takes tomorrow my chateau, 

our happy cottage of content where such sweet dreams we used to 
find. There, with his mocking temperament, he'll sketch cartoons of 
all mankind, 

and on the wicker chair repose, sole witness of his labours, ah! and, 
when his task has reached its close, sleep in our bed like a pasha. 

But will he wake at night, half-dead with dread, to hear upon the 
blast the Ghostly Huntsman thundering past — depart, and after, die of 
laughter 1 

And at morning, towards the dewy lea bent from the threshold, will 
he see thee, bare, thy hair in shimmering rout? Such sights he'll have 
to do without. 

When on the earth sweet evening falls, like a twin radiance will he 
see softly traverse the cottage walls the angels, Fervour and Mystery ? 


Door locked and windows shuttered tight, will he have our countless 
dreams, or chance to see this Lily,* tall and white, 'twixt us and all the 
shades adance? 

Rules underlie the draughtsman's art. But on this day with sor- 
rows full, he strikes us on our anguished heart with an imaginary rule, 

this good Carlegle, this worthy man, whom may there save from 
Fortune's rigour Saint Bamboulibougnabounigger, patron of every ar- 

Two glutted barrows we despatch . . . there's no recourse ... we 
cannot wait. The weather-cock upon the thatch utters a cry so deso- 




(Valley of Gambaseuil.) 

On earth two lovers can you meet more thrilled and overjoyed than 
we, before the grace and mystery of a valley so surpassing sweet? 

Let it rain! One sees the meads outspread their silks in diapered 
array ; we imitate it on the bed of tender love, when it rains by day. 

When it rains by night the vale resounds with singing frogs. En- 
chanting sounds! And from the beechen coppice sweet, minute, the 
muffled drums discreet ! 

The skies (tomorrow ^vill be fine) like old cathedral windows shine 
beneath the boughs. The birth of mom the vale with carmine will 

Rattle of dew and bubbling springs, how the bright morning Phcebus 
now toys with you in his wantonings, while roses cro-WTi his infant 

* The candle. 


Their bells evaporated all, paths, bushes, trees and fields appear: a 
horse that distance renders small crosses the vale in swift career, 

the vale that noon's bright pinion grazes, made of a web of irised 
things, gay dragon-flies and midges wings, and muslin wreathed in shim- 
mering mazes. 

The cattle drowse, 'tis a delight, on the meadow's flower-besprinkled 
breast: their tufted tails, in whisking quest, disturb a tuft of daisies 

And our cottage, that with mantling leaves the spreading ivy cov- 
ereth, more easily to draw its breath, unhooks it just below the eaves. 

'Tis three o'clock, the calm hour of the bees, the hottest of the day, 
beneath their wings the blossoms sway while the whole vale is filled with 

There his warm heart the sunset lays in mystic silence, and the vale 
with fervour takes it, all ablaze, keeps it and thinks there cannot fail 

to rise through night's serenity the star that rules the eventide — 
Venus with softly-gleaming knee — the bride, 'mid vapours pale, the 
bride I 

And these are magic rites : the moon, the stars are asked, Saint Elmo's 
fires, and, to declaim the wedding tune, the Milky Way vouchsafes its 

Some evenings we are stay-at-homes. In our garden-close so sweet it 
is that sweeter still the vale becomes in listening to our destinies. 

For our garden is the leaf, of old from the tree of Eden lightly whirled, 
where two bare glow-worms find their world — made in our semblance we 
are told. 

fervent nights! long desires! When the warm zephyrs fan our 
fires! ... Is it enough to christen you — eternity's true masterpiece — 

the vale of charms that never cease ? 



In the green-lit solitudes of the road beneath the woods as clear, re- 
flected light an emerald doth renew — from moss to canopy roams a 
white butterfly, but, — fleeting memory — already fades from view: 

The impact of my tread, beneath the gathering night, makes mystical 
the shade, the pine-trees' towering height, and the road that's lost to 
sight where ray soul had thought to see the splendour, pale and dead, 
of the tarn 's serenity. 

I shrink from everj'' noise. "What may the next one prove ? And this 
shrinking dread I love, and this lurking noise I fear. To sorrovrs as to 
joys my soul entire I give. Would I wish to perish here? Or, hidden, 
there to live? 

What hour endui*es for aye 'neath the darkling forest cowl? Is it 
dawn or death of day, this twilight gloom forlorn? Is it the li\'ing 
souls of trees that from their boles are drawn, or spectres dread of forest 
monarchs dead that silently return their ancient realms to prowl? 

To the gesturing fern, the flight of the pheasant I arouse, to the quiet 
of my feet, to the murmuring infinite of the silence, to the far gulfs, 
where star succeeds to star, that leaves of whispering boughs in count- 
less myriads beat, 

to the full moon's frigid ball whence a mute wind doth lull the great 
frost, suddenly between dark branches ta'en, like quicksilver my soul 
divides itself tonight only immediately to recombine again! 

Do I give this soul of mine to sorrows or to joys? I shrink from 
every noise. What may the next one prove ? And this shrinking dread I 
love and this lurking noise I fear. Would I wish to perish here ? Or, 
hidden, there to live? 

That which grips me, to caress, then, like a rapier-stroke, through 
soul and body goes, is all this: joys or gi-iefs? 'Tis the odour of the 
moss, and of the forest leaves, pierced by the scent of smoke fi-om dis- 
tant villages ! 



'Twixt sleep and wakefulness sweet dreams that lightly pass. Calm 
of the break of day! Tranquillity of dream, when from my bed I see 
the willows' azure gleam! Beside me Love doth lay his brow. This 
breathes for sign. Yes, I hear a beating heart not far apart from mine. 
No ! Droll ! I am alone. . . . My fair companion now the casement sets 
ajar. I hear the blind miaul. — Like a cat she must have gone, — 0, what 
a fresh delight, in her contour's gentle curve, is my love, so fair and 
young, with naught to hide her form save for a floating shawl, as if 
the gloom of night still to her shoulder clung. 

She whose nature is so gay, so tranquil, that her eye finds all about 
her way causes for ecstacy, can she have left me thus the irised dawn 
to see o'er our asparagus. . . . What incivility! — Have you not heard 
the drum?" — "Come, be sensible!" "Have you not heard the village 
drum?" — What is there left to do? I arise. love in tears! I wish 
to know at once the cause of these alarms. "Well, there he is, this dunce 
of a drummer who doth move my rage. Our ears he charms with a 
furious tattoo." 

* ' He halts before my door his paper to unwind. As here the village 
guard is the drummer, I engage he comes to reprobate a cock's nocturnal 
flight, felonious it appears, or a fat pet rabbit caught by a poaching 
good-for-naught. This is well worth your tears, well worth your scrut- 
iny!" " What's all this rumpus? — War! — At first it seems to me 

that I 'm becoming blind. Where am I ? All is night. Who touched me 
then? I see, my sight returns once more. What spirit forces me to 
gaze while from the sky a rain of frenzied stars crashes eternally ? 

"Look there!" — "My love!" — It's worse even than the tempest's 
squall. ... I feel that I must go, I've no more courage, Paul." On my 
threshold, what portend this man, arms raised to heaven, who seems 
about to weep, and the paper that he bears which trembles in the 
wind? And he is not alone. 0, that form in mourning deep, that 
Avoman kneeling low to this boy so vowed to Mars. "Help me, kind 
gentleman. We must change this. I'm the mother of two sons, one is 
dead and this soldier is the other. What is all this that's said of the 
Germans? Pity me! Come, this paper thrice accursed, you could tear 
it easily." 


Through the still room a cry shudders, to die unheard. Upon her bed 
I lay my swooning love. — Absurd, but I know no longer where to find 
things, come, I mean ... to soothe her . . . what! I dream twisting 
her raven hair? Yes, twisting her cold hair, o'er a cold land I see — is it 
Flanders or Champagne, is it Alsace or Lorraine ? — a ploughshare slowly 
ride, a peasant guides it straight, raising for goad the scythe fashioned 
by yeai-s of hate; sudden I see the sky flame . . . what then do I see? 
... all the furrows tremble now and, 'neath gold gleams outspread, the 
great, black oxen plough 'twixt crossas of the dead. 




On the Idtli of Septemler, 1914, 
the CatJiedral of Rlieims was bom- 
barded and set on fire by the German 
troops. Baron von Plattenberg, gen- 
eral of infantry, aid de camp general, 
and chief of the Royal Pr\issian 
Guard, is the author responsible for 
this crime. 

Infamous general. Baron von Plattenberg, if this song of love for my 
church from you derives its source, in settlement I give, sure of their 
lasting force, the buffet of the poets and the scaffold of the Word — but 
I 've good store of blows to pay my votive debt to all the vaunting Huna 
that I have ever met. 

Before its portals, near "The Golden Lion'* I was bom. — ^A babe, my 
eyes yet dimmed by shimmering Paradise, I dreamed it, and perhaps 
saw hazy towers uprear music diaphanous athwart the morning skies, 
such as they may appear where subtlest angels range whose senses, light 
as air, cohere and interchange. 


The cathedral, too, was chanted, no doubt, that eventide, real or un- 
real in fluctuant majesty, by the angel choirs of Rheims for my nativity, 
or, being but one soul in flower and naught beside, just by my guardian 
angel, God's blessing to impart. I swear that even then it enchanted my 
French heart. 

The angelic murmuring turned, imperceptibly, upon my mother's lips, 
to a human lullaby. And soon the dire complaint of good king Jean 
Renaud (albeit in those days the words I did not kn'ow) made vanish 
from my sight in the abysms dim, till the day I die, the chant of the 
bright cherubim. 

Infamous general, Baron von Plattenberg, if this song of love for my 
church from you derives its source, in settlement I give, sure of their 
lasting force, the buffet of the poets and the scaffold of the Word — but 
I 've good store of blows to pay my votive debt to all the vaunting Huns 
that I have ever met. 

Mother, one day your song broke off, when scarce begun, on the word 
"war"; and you, bent toward your little son and, pressing to my brow 
your fingers' purities, all joyously exclaimed: "He sees! He sees! He 
sees ! ' ' My father smiled to see that child-like haste of thine to turn my 
virgin eyes toward the great church sublime : 

"Look!" Yes! Though certainly my eyes, unsealed but then, could 
make out naught beyond the blueness of the pane and the snowy cur- 
tains there above the ogive calm, and your hands, so white they fed my 
soul a milky balm. For me the cathedral's birth more gradually took 
place, immense, broad, real, dreamed, in a single moment's space. 

Its birth took place for me, divined by my glad eyes, on a morning in 
the spring when crying swallows soared. My child's hands clutched at 
it in the azure of the skies. Reborn with every dawn, it kept a faithful 
ward, all habited by saints, by heroes and by kings, by angels in mid- 
flight, a tree athrill with wings. 

Great plaything of my soul, French grove of stones, that came with 
your two towers to be my boyhood's giant toys, you have remained the 
one sport that my soul enjoys with your three porches high, in triangle 
of flame, and over them the rose where pigeons in their flight peck with 
a greedy bill at prismed motes of light. 


Then, my Cathedral, -when in after days I came with your angel-pinions 
white the wings of a kite to blend, how with my boisterous cries I made 
your echoes quail, and, following my cries, hair streaming in the wind, 
surrounded your old walls with many a children's game, but when I was 
your guest, a lad distraught and pale, 

launched on the eager quest of the flower of ecst-acy — hands reaching 
towards the light that your gemmed windows lave — ah ! how the sacred 
fright that doth the soul surprise o'ercamc me in the nave where sang 
those accents grave well-known to children 's hearts in the days of Para- 
dise, when I whispered to thee, "I" — how thou returnedst it me! 

Infamous general. Baron von Plattenberg, if this song of love for my 
church from you derives its source, in return I give you, sure of their 
immortal force, the buffet of the poets and the scaffold of the Word — but 
I 've good store of hate to pay my votive debt to all the vaunting Huns 
that I have ever met. 

And when I once had dreamed, Basilica, of thee, thou didst obsess 
my dreams above all earthly things. Thy saints and thy apostles, thy 
angels and our kings, with those two mighty towTi-s the flush of davm. 
prolongs, and thy windows' miracles in warm, prismatic throngs, Basil- 
ica, enthralled my nights of infancy. 

Your forest o'er me spreads its faces intert\vined, and like great 
trunks embraced by gnarled lianas stout, buttresses, capitals of an in- 
fernal kind, gables and shafts, arouse a diabolic rout, subtle, persuasive 
fiends, gross demons from the Pit or strange, ethereal shapes, haunt- 
ing and exquisite. 

One portico supports Hell itself: yes, plain to view, on the church's 
northern wall, its fires congealed by frost. Eh, what of that! They'll 
still have heat enough to roast prelates that had black souls and croz- 
iered abbes, too. But what good humour's there? One would imagine 
that they quite enjoyed it, trussed in Satan's sulphurous vat. 

To the sound of Sabbath bells, the chime my dream attunes, that 
Portal vast, the door of the Virgin, now doth ries and her rose-windowed 
walls where blue Heaven echellons ten winged legions, decked with mitres 


and with crowns (seeming some fragrant bower all eehelloned with 
blooms), bear Our Blessed One and G-od who crowns her in the skies. 

Up from a dais filled with belfries small it surges, as a sweet, 
country sun doth o'er the sky-line start, and, poised in billowing mist, 
the Rose its vermeil heart, 'mid tremulous splendours, swift from prison- 
ing night emerges, launched in the dazzling day like some resplendent 
lance, up to the sky ? Ah, no ! To where the kings of France 

assembled, side by side, fix their regards on France, yonder, beneath 
the towers, an audience august. Here is the snowy flock of our royal 
s^vains robust that a blazing glory now exalts! ... flame intense! 
Lo, all ascends ! The turn of these proud towers has come, and, gestur- 
ing their love, they mount to Heaven's blue dome. 

Infamous general, Baron von Plattenberg, if this song of love and 
dream from you derives its source, in return I give you, sure of their 
immortal force the buffet of the poets and the scaffold of the Word — 
but I've good store of hate to pay my votive debt to all the vaunting 
Huns that I have ever met. 

From the flaming porticos of Christ and of Saint Paul, and the 
myriad window-flare, the towers like incense rise. On these the fancy 
broods and just beyond them spies uplifting tree-trunks, dart, great 
bows in parallel : bushes and trees of stone, how clear one sees them all I 
Even the wandering Beasts that in the Forest dwell. 

Whence comes this high, clear noise the echoes now repeat? A bed- 
side angel sounds his silver trumpet sweet? No, dream deludes my 
sense. Towards the cathedral square I needs must turn my eyes: this 
clear sound comes from there. Thither let all the eyes of my rapt 
vision bend and taste their pleasure there before the dream doth end. 

Jeanne d'Arc, ghostly Maid adored, you are there anew! Lifting 
your standard high the herald sounds, and Charles, in royal purple 
clothed, doth, docile, follow you. But see, by a people hedged that all 
about you swirls, calls to you, loves you, seeks, presses and follows you 
—0 Shepherdess!— in sign of mounting hope advance, led by your form 
the flock of future kings of France. 


Infamous general, Baron von Plattenberg, if this song of love and 
dream from you derives its source in return I leave you, sure of their 
immortal force, the buffet of the poets and the scaffold of the Word, — 
but I've good store of shame to pay my votive debt to all the vaunting 
Huns that I have ever met. 

Into the church they plunge, the peoples, kings and knights, to the 
cry of Jeanne, and now the flag that o'er her streams such fervour 
propagates almost the tumult seems the sound of sacred fires that God 
Himself ignites, and lo, it burns indeed! . . . the Cathedral, soul of 
souls, fervent, to heaven's high vault in roaring gusts it rolls. 

vision of my youth, 'tis needful that you be (and utterly you are!) 
the Verity for France. Dream where my great Cathedral had thought 
to frighten me — changed into soaring flame illumining our lands, — 
lyric yet Gallic still, to you I owed the grace of singing only songs full- 
flavoured with my race. 

The Basilica the form of that keen flame assumed when from the heart 
of Jean d'Orbais that flre did part. Higher, more quenchless still o'er 
the pyre of Jeanne it loomed, that holocaust towards God kindled in 
each French heart. As soon hope to prevail 'gainst starry skies eterne, 
Baron von Plattenberg, as this to quench or burn. 

Then thus, our innocent Baron von Plattenberg, I hail you! This 
song of love for my church I dedicate to you, Jioch! and I give you 
(sure they endure the ages through) the buffet of France, and my Lyre, 
high yard where now I nail you. Strings broken by mj^ hand, unpity- 
ing scourge and ban to all eternity the loathed Barbarian ! 

September 21, 1914. 


Fain would I drive away the image of the Spring, Each day of lilacs 
mauve, primroses pale, each day of frisking lambkins white 'mid venial 
mists at play, of babbling streams, clear skies, and birds gay jargonning, 
to the heart of heaven unfolding the marguerite of gold an impassive 
deity shreds down with finger slow, each day that gilds the grass, whence 
subtle perfumes pass, although new life I know breathing them once 
again, is a sin of drunkenness, a long remorse to me. 


Sin, perfidy, remorse to me from dawn to dark, false to my brothers, 
dead for yon, France, in the stark nakedness of the plain or horror of 
the wood, sin 'gainst the dead, the sin of yearaing yet to be, original 
sin, the sin of a voluptuous mood, remorse for being alive, drunk with 
the Spring's gay feast, fiend that regales the soul wdth bright hours 
exquisite, pei-fidy to the slain, the soldiers dead for me in the gr^at 
plain to the north, in the great wood to the east ! 

A felon's heart is mine. Poesy, poesy, who caused me to assign my 
vital force to thee? What are they worth, those hymns of gladness that 
employed my powers, those hymns to Spring, scenes of forgotten loves. 
Old heart, your country's racked and all your strength is void! Nature 
and nothing more my singing can portray. Sad, when one can but 
chant the breeze in poplar groves, the sun of orange storm through pine- 
tops black and still, the swift trout in the stream churned by the clack- 
ing mill, the loriot's laugh that falls from the fresh hawthorn-spray. 

Hill, butterfly-caressed, with clover overspread, tell me, lovely hill, 
tell me the thing you know. As springlike doth it show, the black height 
of Sparge, at this daylight hour that makes more wounded and more 
dead ? The mountain of black mud heroic charges gain — wall crumbling 
with the wreck of wounded as with slain — a floundering host, their guns 
engulfed in pits of slime. Flatter my eyes, fair hill, a felon's heart is 
mine I 

little stream of May, forget-me-nots enwreathe, at this fair hour of 
eve when calling peewits glide, tell me, little stream, what happens now 
beside the bankless Yser's tide whence one sole spire doth start. Say, does 
the lamb browse there, the golden broom, the air absorb the scent of sage 
that thrills my soul like wine, or of a deadly gas in vortices of doom? 
Console me, vernal stream, mine is a felon's heart. 

Swallow that earthward dips, a felon's heart is mine. 
Storm with the noise of steps, a felon 's heart is mine. 
All my white cherry-trees, a felon's heart is mine. 
My friend, the rainbow arch, a felon 's heart is mine. 
My sweetheart, soul of eve, a felon 's heart is mine. 
Companionable toad, a felon's heart is mine. 
France of my springtimes, what a traitorous heart have I ! 


A felon's heart is mine. Poesy, poesy, Who caused me to assign my 
vital force to thee? 


song that with one blow, at its initial strain, explodes, sets free the 
air of the void, invades the air, is only air itself and rends the hurri- 
cane, tufted with steps, with cries, with trumpets' martial blare, 

sole song that frees the soul with but a single blow, so much that 
soul and song in towering flame are blent, that turns a heedless throng 
to soaring fire intent — as mad Saint Michael sped the demon to o'er- 
throw — 

on leaping where our life must purge impurities, cleansing the crimes 
of hate and tyrannous desire, or to eternal deeps hurl down, with death- 
less fire, the re-arising scourge of men and deities : 

the Barbarians on the march ! with their burned flesh to fill the yawn- 
ing Pit whose lure this world can scarce refuse, — hymn of naught else 
than flame wherein a man pursues the soul that summons him and flies 
before him still! 

Such is the song, the pride that stirs each Gallic sword, this great hymn 
all aflare, such is the Mai'«eillaise, that our soldiers shall behold burst 
from their lips, to blaze, terrific, towards the backs of that defeated 

Valour's universal song, whose magic accents ring through the Old 
World and, no less, through the Country of the Free 1 Ah, from what- 
ever race or party one may be, to the Republic vowed, the Emperor, the 

whoever sings that song, despite its cruel lines, (no, with them! I 
blaspheme!), whoe'er that song doth start, arises filled with love, though 
born with shriveled heart, stands forth with honour filled, though false 
a hundred times ! 


Song that no leisure leaves to ponder or delay! Which, when it 
dwells in you, bursts from you in a breath, and 'tis your soul's best 
part that thus is borne away. Sons of your country, rise ... to victory 
or death! 

It shames the wounded men. In a renewing flood of strength they 
stand erect for fiercer fighting fain ! Its slogan propagates such fury in 
the blood that it is but the dead who do not rise again 

to give themselves once more the joy, supreme and grim, of striking 
down the Boche, once more ere life is fled, ere they forever die. Not yet I 
Great strengthening hymn, hymn that resuscitates, hymn that awakes 
the dead! 

hymn that with one blow, at its initial strain explodes, sets free the 
air of the void, Marseillaise changed to the air itself where whirls 
the hurricane of souls that bear gross flesh to the red furnace-blaze, 

able to bear to Heaven, purging a^vay their dross, the unbelieving 
horde by worldly wiles enticed, wherewith to dower the church 
triumphant, Jesus Christ would with more lingering pangs have suf- 
fered on the cross. 

Of our strife what does He see, the Grod in Heaven who reigns? For- 
ever solitude among the dying throng? Ah, all upheaves at last, bounds, 
flames to this vast song arising towards the clouds from the entrails of 
the plains: 

"To arms, to arms, ye brave !" 'Tis from the Gallic side the soil spits 
volleying steel, the maddened smoke-wreaths glide, then blue horizons 
roar. The good God may behold their circle mount on high, in vapour 

Such is this song whose force so oft has rendered tame the foe — the 
Barbarian, forsworn on every hand. Shrilled by our marching files, in 
waves of cadenced flame, it filled our general's souls, partook of their 

The Pyramids ! Fleurus I Arcole and Wattignies ! The Marsisillaise 
doth sing a dauntless history, and then 'tis our Jouvence and iaakes our 
ranks prevail. 'Tis not the faite of France in wretchedness to fail. 


Oft the Teutonic hordes, to cheat our watcliful guns, howl it to falling 
stars in the gloom, 'Tis well averred that straight the air is foul and 
gasping cries are heard, for like nux vomica our hymn affects the Huns. 

From a hundred thousand throats, ah, the effect was fine when the 
coryphaeus' name was Bonaparte. Today Joffre, with more volume still, 
uplifts the air divine to his winged Victory that never shall give 

Flags, oriflammes that, mute, proclaim our victory, piled eagles, pikes, 
and guns, the trophies we retain, cannon of Bois-le-Pretre, cannon of 
Rivoli, and you, proud azure dome, with glory gorged again, 

witness ! 'Tis towards this song, as towards its places of doom, there 
swirled itself, a morn's gigantic hurricane, the Paris Multitude. A mil- 
lion prides were fain low to incline themselves before your quiet tomb, 

Rouget de Lisle, the while, in hommage to your wraith, from Alsace 
to the North our soldiers chanted loud, Gennans that delve the soil, 
Germans perplexed and cowed, that song wherein all France explodes 
in fervent faith 1 

Tremble, 'tis in the air and in the air will stay. 'Tis all the air of 
the world. Your swarms 'twiU sweep away. This Air will save Alsace, 
the country of its birth and of your yoke and you forever rid the earth ! 

Tremble, the hour is near, the hour when you must die, when soldier- 
singei-s prove that Pity's hour is past, when Pity's self demands we 
slay you utterly, you and your children, too, all, to the very last ! 

Tremble, it is the dawn that sees your crimes' redress. The universe 
entire arises now, and chants the hymn of resurrection, peace and de- 
liverance ... do you hear it? . . . and the hjonn, the hjTnn of Ven- 

To ai-ms, ye citizens! Show your battalions' worth! March! Blood 
impure shall choke their plea to God on high. We are the dragon-seed 
their furrows fructify. To arms ye citizens of eveiy land on earth ! 



Preceded by 




I waa awaiting something else, my hopes were of a different kind : 

I wished to give myself to you, gi'eat battles, as to great Nature I 
have given myself; but I no longer understand you, you have become 
so supernatural! 

Nature at least permitted me to suffer from my loves. But, battles, 
it is eitherwise with you, who wish us all entire. Ohl I know the 
reason why, I know it well. 

Void of love save for that of the Fatherland, our soldiers, our sons 
for the nature of France are dying. 

But, battles, indeed one need not be too harsh. I, I suffer from love, 
and my trouble comes from this. 

And do you not believe that all our sons — our heroes — suffer more 
pangs from love than from shrapnel-fire? 

One calls them heroes because they fight so well. But was it to be 
soldiers they were made? I, I call them heroes because they have 
given their youth and the love they dare not weep. 

Weep, yes, weep, young soldier, shed tears more bitter than gall ! 
If you do not weep when 'tis the time for weeping, you will weep too 
much when you return, when you come to your fatherland again and 
find no sweetheart waiting for you there. 


Weep, yes, weep, young soldier, and shed great tears o'er the dwell- 
ing of your father, shed in thought great tears o'er the dwelling of your 
father; — ^you have not the right to weep. 

Your pride forbids it, and your chiefs would remind you of your 
countiy. But does not one's country commence -uith the dwelling of 
one's father? or no matter what it may be, at the hearth? — No! no! 
forget all this. Your chiefs are right. Do not weep. 

Weep, yes, weep, young soldier, and shed great tears o'er the soft 
hands of your mother; shed in thought great tears o'er the hands of 
your mother; — you no longer have the right to weep. 

Your new-fledged pride forbids it; and your reasoning chiefs are 
right. If your country begins with the tender hands of your mother — 
or, indeed, better still, alas! with the heart of your love — forget this, 
forget this, I tell you — you have not the right to weep. 

Forget your childhood, forget its days of Spring, forget your father 
and mother, forget your well-beloved. 

Forget your memories, my son, 

forget the cuckoos singing o'er the hills, 

the slopes of the cliffs, the alder-wood, its curlews, 

the bush of mulberries, the tree with its tufts of mistletoe, 

the heather flowering on the arid down, 

and, iTinning towards the village and its hedges, 

the stream that counts its pebbles like little coins, 

and the lo-vN-ing herds of kine, their udders full, 

and, set in the very midst 

of the prairie populous with capering beasts, 

forget your home, 

forget your home, forget its windows pure, 

the smoke of the roof, the stone of the hearth, 

the wdse old clock, and the creaking press, 

the copper basins in the kitchen's shade, 

the scent of thyme and laurel. 

Forget your childhood, forget its days of Spring, forget your father 
and mother, forget your well-beloved. 


Forget your memories, my child : 

forget the bridge, the bell, your earlie&t love. . . . "Would it not have 
been better, my father! my mother! to envelop with swaddling- 
bands a piece of wood, to wash little pebbles as does the stream, than to 
wash your son, than to dress your baby dear, that he might come one day 
to this miserable pass, to this rending pang of forgetting you — even for 
his country? Would it not have been better, my poor well-beloved, to 
embrace the wind than this youth who one day would be false to you ? 

"But what would they embrace — zounds! our fiancees? Ohl were 
there ever more atrocious wounds ? What will tliey see, the eyes of those 
that love us? — My God! if they were, if they were to fly from us? . , ." 

That is why our sons are heroes I 

Weep, yes, weep, young soldier, shed tears as bitter as gall! If 
you do not weep when it is the moment for weeping, you will weep too 
much when you return, when you come to your fatherland again and 
find no sweetheart waiting for you there. 

But no! no! I blaspheme, no! You have not made a sad exchange. 
You do not weep ? — Go, it is well, my son. — ^Less your chiefs than your 
heart laid on you this command. You have thrown yourself with gaiety 
of heart into this agony. "Long live my Country and nothing but my 
Country!" — That is your cry — towards death, awaiting death, in the 
filth, in the horrible sounds of fighting hand to hand, in the streams of 
burning pitch. ... 

That is why our sons are heroes! 




followed by 




France, you laugh too much, it seems. War will come to 
end your dreams. 

But why do you laugh so loud, my dear? Is it that all 
your dead may hear? 

There's laughter underneath the earth, evil laughter, cold 
and thin. 

The earth is black, they are within. They watch the 
graveworms' ghastly mirth 

while wooden crosses feel their tooth. They laugh, but 
'tis at you, forsooth. 

France ! You laugh too much, it seems. War will come 
to end your dreams. 



Santa Barbara 


Scries 9482 


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